RANDY ALLEN: I'm Randy Allen. I'm the Associate Dean for Marketing and Corporate Relations at the Johnson School. I'm a 1968 Arts and Sciences grad. I majored in physics. And I've been involved with PCCW since it started. I teach and am the Associate dean of the Johnson School. And I especially teach students how to work with companies doing projects.
As a native if Ithaca, I mean, Cornell, you know, was always there. So I really got to interact with the school a lot. So it was natural to apply. I was clear-- I was very interested in physics, excellent physics department here and facilities. So when you looked at all of the benefits of applying in terms of the program, the community, it was a great place.
I really negotiated with my mom to say, if I go to Cornell, can I live in the dorm. So I had the benefit of being like I was away at college, but at the same time being where I could drop in and say, hey, mom, can I borrow the car since, you couldn't have cars and couldn't afford to have one. So in some ways it gave me the best of both worlds.
But I think the other thing I really came to learn about Cornell that I value very much now was what are now called breadth and depth requirements. At that time they were called distribution requirements in Arts and Sciences. So I took a history of art to satisfy those requirements, ended up loving art. So I think, to me, what the university gave me was a well-rounded education, not just the education in the field I was interested in majoring in.
So I think the benefits to women students at Cornell today are it really is about equal. You know there are an equal number of women students and men students. The opportunities to take on any role are there for a woman student if that's what she wants to do. So there are really unlimited opportunities. And I think that really prepares women to go out into the workforce much more effectively than it did in my time.
I would say-- how have I stayed involved with the university? I mean I moved from here to Seattle, Washington, right away and then to Chicago. So really for a period of time, I did not stay that active in the university. I did a couple of Cornell club events in Seattle. It was only when I moved back to the East Coast that I really said, you know, I think I got a lot out of my Cornell education and I'd like to find a way to get back involved and give back.
I serve the university in many ways. I'm still-- I'm an emeritus member of PCCW. I've been on University Council. I've been on the advisory board for the Johnson School. Now I work at the Johnson School. So I'm clearly very involved and spend a lot of time with all of our students, both men and women.
So I stay involved because I think Cornell is a special place. I mean, I think it gives each individual an opportunity to grow and learn and pick their path. It gives you lots of wide breadth of things that you can do. That's why I came. It's ultimately, I think, why I got back involved. And it's just a great community. The Cornellians are wonderful people.
I think, for me, you look at women's connection and PCCW. I think PCCW plays an important role in making sure that women stay connected to the university. Women still like to network with women. There are, you know-- and there aren't enough opportunities to do that. So I think it's a good opportunity for women to network.
I also think, more importantly, it's a way for women to help the young women coming up, to really mentor them, give them opportunities to learn, have someone they can talk to that spend through many of the things that they're going to be going through in their life. So, to me, PCCW fills a number of roles like that. It's also an opportunity for the university have a sounding board to really look at a group that's been through it with different spans of time to say, what things do we need to think about as we support our women students, faculty, and staff to make it a better place for them?
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Former PCCW chair Randy Allen '68 reflects on how she chose Cornell, her memories of the university, and how Cornell has shaped her life both personally and professionally.
The President's Council of Cornell Women is a group of highly accomplished alumnae working to enhance the involvement of women students, faculty, staff, and alumnae as leaders within Cornell University and its many communities.