Professional Women's Network of D.C. connects Penn State women

August 27, 2004

University Park, Pa. -- For the past six years, on a weeknight in early June, the Professional Women's Network of D.C. has brought together professional women who are Penn State alumnae with Penn State students who are currently doing internships in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area. The evening offers a social gathering to promote networking and professional growth -- and features, of course, Creamery ice cream.

This year the event was held on June 6 within a stone's throw of the Supreme Court and Senate Office Buildings. This is the third year that the ice cream social has been held on the Hill, and it continues to be the group's most popular event. In previous years, alumni were charged a $10 admission fee. This year, however, the event was free and attracted its largest attendance of more than 60 alumni and students. And the event is not limited to women; the entire Metro D.C. Chapter was invited and plenty of men were in attendance.

"The purpose of the event is to bring together the Penn State students who are doing internships in D.C. for the summer with Penn State alumni and encourage them to do career networking," explained Alumni Association President Marianne Alexander '62, who is also a member of the network. "Most folks just make a dinner of Penn State ice cream as there is plenty to go around."

Each year the group enlists several distinguished guests to serve as ice cream scoopers. This year's celebrity scoopers were Alexander's husband, Duane '62, a Distinguished Alumnus and director of the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD); Barry Robinson '67, Trustee Emeritus, member of Alumni Council, and senior counsel to the Recording Industry of America; and Ken Haas '53, a former member of Alumni Council and father of Dede Haas '79, the Network's current president.

Since it was chartered in 1998, the network has continually provided a forum for professional growth and social interaction for Penn State women who live and work in the metro D.C. area. The group hosts events related to professional development. In April, the network held a luncheon in downtown D.C. with Annapolis (Md.) Mayor Ellen Moyer '58, who shared her experiences in government that are universal to women in all industries. The network also does charitable work and recently started working with a local group that helps low income and homeless families gain financial security and self-sufficiency.

For more information on the Professional Women's Network of D.C., or any of the more than 300 affiliate groups of the Alumni Association, please visit

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Last Updated March 20, 2009