Wheaton College Norton, Massachusetts

Jaclyn “Jackie” Hurley Christensen ’00

Jaclyn “Jackie” Hurley Christensen ’00

  • Product owner
  • WhippleHill Communications, Bedford, N.H.

Jackie Christensen works in software development, creating a product vision for WhippleHill’s learning management system, onCampus, an online tool that helps private K–12 schools manage and share information with students and parents. It’s her job to understand the competitive landscape, conduct user research, and communicate with schools to ensure that her team is on the right track. She prioritizes which product features and enhancements her development team tackles in each software release. She also works closely with the sales and marketing team to ensure the product messaging is accurate, clear and compelling to potential customers.

“Women are major consumers of technology,” says Christensen. “If companies want to be successful now and in the future, they need people on their product development teams who relate to women’s needs and daily challenges.”

Women in technology
In the spirit of the Sit With Me project, the Quarterly is showcasing several alumnae working in the industry. Coming from backgrounds that include a variety of majors and working in a wide range of jobs, from designing Navy destroyers to creating educational software, they illustrate the many opportunities available and the many paths into the field that a liberal arts education offers.

She credits an independent study on environmental psychology she did with Professor of Psychology David Wulff for honing her writing and communications skills, which she uses every day in her job.

“I now recognize how unique an opportunity I had, working one-on-one with a professor as an undergraduate.”

Her path to a career in technology was not linear, says Christensen, who majored in environmental science and minored in psychology at Wheaton. Working in development for the Anti-Defamation League of Boston, she found she had a knack for figuring out the software programs used to track gifts and generate donor reports.

She dovetailed her interests in technology and nonprofit work as an e-philanthropy specialist for Campagne Associates in Manchester, N.H., before joining WhippleHill. “That’s the exciting thing about technology: it’s so fast-paced that unique opportunities crop up all the time.”

Catherine Malone Habas ’93

650_Habas CatherinePrincipal

CMH Communications, San Francisco

Since beginning her career in Silicon Valley after her graduation in 1993, Catherine Malone Habas has witnessed the changing role of women in the field of technology. “At that time, few of my female clients were in the executive suite.”

She now counsels many women executives in technology companies. “Diversity, whether it be gender, ethnicity or age, is critical, because with it comes different life experiences.”

In her work for CMH Communications, a technology-focused public relations firm, Habas partners with companies to create brand identity and develop messages about software that are easily understood. From there, she may pitch a story to the business press, draft a speech for an executive, or establish a meaningful social media presence for a client.

Women in technology
In the spirit of the Sit With ME project, the Quarterly is showcasing several alumnae working in the industry. Coming from backgrounds that include a variety of majors and working in a wide range of jobs, from designing Navy destroyers to creating educational software, they illustrate the many opportunities available and the many paths into the field that a liberal arts education offers.

“Public relations encompasses many strategies, and during my 20 years in the field I have been part of the evolution from print to online and social media.”

At Wheaton, Habas majored in international relations with minors in economics and political science. She says her liberal arts education taught her to quickly grasp and digest complex content. “Software designed for business users can be difficult to comprehend, much like the challenging economics classes I took with [Professor of Economics] Gordon Weil,” she says.

Habas is also a big believer in internships. “I held three during my time at Wheaton, and each one allowed me to develop a skill set that I drew from during my early professional years.”

Her most memorable was interning at the office of the late Senator Edward Kennedy in Washington, D.C., during her junior year. “The best thing a college student can do is find work outside the classroom.”

Catherine Malone Habas ’93

Catherine Malone Habas ’93

  • Principal
  • CMH Communications, San Francisco

Since beginning her career in Silicon Valley after her graduation in 1993, Catherine Malone Habas has witnessed the changing role of women in the field of technology. “At that time, few of my female clients were in the executive suite.”

She now counsels many women executives in technology companies. “Diversity, whether it be gender, ethnicity or age, is critical, because with it comes different life experiences.”

Women in technology
In the spirit of the Sit With Me project, the Quarterly is showcasing several alumnae working in the industry. Coming from backgrounds that include a variety of majors and working in a wide range of jobs, from designing Navy destroyers to creating educational software, they illustrate the many opportunities available and the many paths into the field that a liberal arts education offers.

In her work for CMH Communications, a technology-focused public relations firm, Habas partners with companies to create brand identity and develop messages about software that are easily understood. From there, she may pitch a story to the business press, draft a speech for an executive, or establish a meaningful social media presence for a client.

“Public relations encompasses many strategies, and during my 20 years in the field I have been part of the evolution from print to online and social media.”

At Wheaton, Habas majored in international relations with minors in economics and political science. She says her liberal arts education taught her to quickly grasp and digest complex content. “Software designed for business users can be difficult to comprehend, much like the challenging economics classes I took with [Professor of Economics] Gordon Weil,” she says.

Habas is also a big believer in internships. “I held three during my time at Wheaton, and each one allowed me to develop a skill set that I drew from during my early professional years.”

Her most memorable was interning at the office of the late Senator Edward Kennedy in Washington, D.C., during her junior year. “The best thing a college student can do is find work outside the classroom.”

Melissa Namiot ’88

Melissa Namiot '88

  • Systems analyst
  • Fidelity Investments, Smithfield, R.I.

“I fell into a career in technology, and I’m glad I did,” says Melissa Namiot. While working for an educational company in Cambridge, Mass., she was asked to cover for a co-worker in the computer department who was on vacation. “That was my first introduction to technology,” she says.

Namiot discovered that her analytical nature and her strength in learning languages—gleaned from her major in French and international relations—gave her an edge in technology.

Women in technology
In the spirit of the Sit With Me project, the Quarterly is showcasing several alumnae working in the industry. Coming from backgrounds that include a variety of majors and working in a wide range of jobs, from designing Navy destroyers to creating educational software, they illustrate the many opportunities available and the many paths into the field that a liberal arts education offers.

Now, with more than 10 years in the field, she works as a systems analyst with Fidelity Investments. Namiot spends her days troubleshooting technical issues, changing or creating software to meet her organization’s business needs and challenges. “People come to me to solve their problems, and when I can deliver on that it’s very satisfying,” she says.

She’s proud of her success in the field despite her lack of a technology degree. “My career path is more like a labyrinth,” she says. (Her first job out of college was as a recruiter for a French company.) “Being exposed to so many different offerings at Wheaton allowed me to be comfortable with new challenges.”