As part of Defy Expectation: The Campaign for Bryn Mawr, the College is asking alumnae/i and supporters why they support the campaign and what their Bryn Mawr experience means to them.


Her childhood ambition:

"I always wanted to be a judge because I saw it as a way to make a difference. After I started taking political science courses at Bryn Mawr, I realized my true interest lies in public policy, and specifically, how cities deal with issues like poverty and economic development."

Her path to Bryn Mawr:

"I had no interest in a women’s college, but my Mom was a big fan of Bryn Mawr and insisted that I apply. So I came for Accepted Students Weekend and was blown away—the classes were rigorous, the professors knew everyone’s names, and the students were so impressive. By the end of the weekend, I was in love with the place and thought 'it’s pretty nice not having boys around all the time!'"

Her favorite place on campus:

"The walkway between the Pems and Great Hall during cherry blossom season."

Her life after Bryn Mawr:

"I completed a year of service with AmeriCorps VISTA at the Center for Literacy before earning my M.P.A. from the Fels Institute of Government. After graduating, I worked for the Kenney mayoral campaign, then as Mayor Kenney’s Special Assistant, and recently landed the position of Deputy Chief of Staff."

Her current position:

"As one of three Deputy Chiefs of Staff, I am essentially the Mayor’s liaison to certain departments regarding education, community relations, and economic development and get to play an integral role in ensuring that we are moving forward with the Mayor’s policies. This position allows me to combine my education with the people skills I gained in my prior role as the mayor’s “handler,” where I accompanied him each day to appointments and meetings and acted as his connector with the public. It’s a great fit for me and I feel blessed for the opportunity."

How she has defied her own expectation:

"I knew I was smart, but Bryn Mawr showed me what I could do with those smarts. It stripped away expectations and allowed me to become more vocal and confident. Now, I don’t care if I’m in a group of men or a male-dominated industry, I know I’m badass and that I’ve been to school with women who know five times more than what they know."

What she would say to an applicant considering attending Bryn Mawr:

"You will emerge from Bryn Mawr with a stronger understanding of yourself than you will get anywhere else. It makes you think hard about who you are by placing you in a diverse community that challenges the concepts of gender identity, socioeconomic status, culture, ethnicity, sexual preference, race, and more—both in the classroom and among your peers. Bryn Mawr prepares you for the many ways the world will see you, and how you will see others."

Mikecia Witherspoon 12
Mikecia Witherspoon '12
Deputy Chief of Staff to Mayor James Kenney, Philadelphia

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