Wheaton College Norton, Massachusetts

Newsmakers: Margaret Astolfi ’07

Maggie Astolifi '07Beauty is confidence. That’s what Margaret “Maggie” Astolfi ’07 learned from her fellow contestants when she competed last year to be featured in an advertising campaign for athletic wear by FILA. When the company held an open casting call for its latest campaign, Astolfi answered. The focus is on “real” women who embrace a healthy and balanced lifestyle. She was one of seven winners selected to launch FILA’s Body Toning System. “Since then, I have remained close with the FILA creative team and have participated in additional shoots to represent their lifestyle, tennis and yoga lines,” she said. The experience was eye-opening and empowering, she noted. “Meeting the other women at the casting call and on set reminded me that feeling beautiful is far beyond how you look; it is the ownership of that beauty and the ability to rock the body with confidence. What was even more interesting was getting to know the contestants, their stories and backgrounds. These are women who contribute to society in so many different ways and who are constantly finding opportunities to start a new adventure.” (Photos of her appeared in the October 2010 issue of Shape magazine, on the Dick’s Sporting Goods web site, and in the New York Times.) Representing real beauty is just one part of Astolfi’s busy Manhattan life. She also writes two blogs: The Fit Post, where she shares tips on how to stay healthy in New York City, offers healthy recipes, and provides advice on the latest athletic gear; and M Marks the Spot, a local guide to “all things food-related: restaurants, party scenes, event spots and menu tastings.” An art history major while at Wheaton, she now works at Clear Harbor Asset Management, driving the firm’s business development and marketing initiatives. “Every day at Clear Harbor is interesting, dynamic and challenging. To top it off, and this is something I once took for granted, I get to work with an incredibly smart team of individuals that share a diverse range of ideas, perspectives and core competencies.” Interestingly, she said, “my serendipitous introduction to Clear Harbor came by way of a contact I met on the production set during one of our FILA shoots. It just goes to show you that you never know who you’ll meet and where you’ll end up.”  —Elizabeth Meyer ’14

Newsmakers: Roxanna Azari ’10

Roxanna Azari '10Roxanna Azari ’10 graduated from Wheaton with a far-reaching mission and the resources to pursue it around the globe. A double major in women’s studies and English with a concentration in creative writing, she won a Watson Fellowship to study the religious, political and personal meanings ascribed to the veils worn by women in many Islamic countries. Her plans include visits to France, Morocco, Turkey, India and the United Arab Emirates to uncover the stories of women behind the veil and reveal the diversity of opinions, beliefs and personal stories behind the clothing. While in India last year, Azari struck a chord with people near the city of Mumbai, where she organized a poetry writing workshop and performance with a group of young women. The Mumbai Mirror described the scene this way: “While the loud Azaan from the nearby mosque silenced the crowd of 50 women and few men inside the tiny hall in Kurla, the enthusiasm of the performing poetesses hung thick in the air. After all, it was the evening of Bazm-e-Sukhan, wherein 12 young otherwise-shy Muslim girls from Mumbra were standing before an encouraging audience of family, friends and well-wishers, as they performed their own poetry in various formats. The inspiration behind this activity, Iranian-American spoken word poet Roxanna Azari, stood cheering each of her students-turned-friends.” Azari says the experience so far has been transformative. “I feel like the only ‘certain’ aspect of my project is the feeling of uncertainty. The poetry and performance workshops have been truly eye-opening, and the women I have met along my travels have all given me a newfound sense of hope and strength. Currently, I am running the workshops in Morocco, and working on putting together a national show here with the U.S. Embassy!”