Pippa Jones Barrett '88 and Alison Cameron '97 met at Starbucks for Alison's Admissions interview in 1993. Their connection grew stronger as Alison followed in Pippa's professional footsteps, going to law school and joining Pippa at the St. Louis Prosecutor's Office. Their mentorship and friendship has endured for nearly 25 years. Pictured are Pippa and Alison with Alison's daughter, Ella Jane, who is — according to Pippa — the "most awesome hockey player ever."
How they met.
They met in a Starbucks near a mall in St. Louis for Alison’s interview. It was an excellent interview and Pippa really hoped Ali would choose Bryn Mawr. She did! But even more exciting was reconnecting when Ali decided to go to law school and emailed Pippa for advice. During law school, Ali interned at the prosecutor’s office where Pippa worked, at times working directly for Pippa, and became a full-time prosecutor there after law school.
Describe your experiences at Bryn Mawr.
Pippa: Bryn Mawr was a place where I could figure out what I really wanted to do rather than what I thought I ought to do. I went in expecting to be pre-med, probably with a biology degree. I took organic chemistry and hated it. At the same time, I was taking an incredible class called African American Culture and Community. I had to ask myself why I was miserable in premed and enthralled in a class I took only to fill a requirement. I’m a lawyer now, not a doctor, and have never once regretted the change in plan.
I think Bryn Mawr is a place where you can develop courage to make changes and decisions you never anticipated, and you carry that courage with you into life after Bryn Mawr. I recently was surprised to be laid off from the prosecutor job I held for 23 years. I’m now working at a computer software company, and relishing the change.
Alison: I learned a lot about myself and the world at Bryn Mawr. In the first weeks of frosh year, I attended the volunteer fair and met a volunteer coordinator who would start me on my career path without my realizing it. I began volunteering in Philadelphia for a crisis intervention agency for women. I learned how to advocate for these women and realized I could do more with a law degree.
Bryn Mawr prepared me for the rigor of law school and taught me to stand up for myself and others. I had exceptional role models at Bryn Mawr, including Dean Karen Tidmarsh, who was my Customs group faculty member. My favorite class was Professor James Tanis's Image as Historical Source, which he taught in the Rare Book Room. It still impacts the way I look at art and historical architecture. Sometimes, when I catch the scent of an old book, I am teleported right back into that room.