Four alumnae who have achieved career success in their respective fields joined the Society of Skeptics on April 27 as part of the celebration of the 50th anniversary of Blair’s reinstatement of coeducation. The women participated in a panel discussion to talk about their Blair stories and their lives today, and the conversation was moderated by students in Blair’s Women in Business Club and history department chair and Skeptics director Jason Beck. Watch the presentation below:
The panelists included Connie Fletcher-Hindle ’74, retired, accounts payable, Hindle Power, Inc., and community volunteer; Shanen Aranmór ’90, Chief Wellness Welder/Founder of Weld Like A Girl; Sharon Sutherland ’93, MD, FAAP, attending physician at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia’s Primary Care Center @ Cobbs Creek; and Virginia Case ’03, CEO of STRATAC Marketing.
Director of Alumni Relations Shaunna Murphy was thrilled to welcome each of the panelists to Skeptics as part of the School’s celebration of women at Blair. “It is so meaningful for today’s students to hear the stories of those who came before them,” she said. “I hope they were intrigued by the words of wisdom and advice that these very successful alumnae shared. These women walked this campus and experienced all that Blair offered them, and now they are leaders in their fields. Their stories are inspirational!”
Read more about the Skeptics panelists below:
Connie Fletcher-Hindle ’74
“Blair taught me so much, but especially two essential truths: First, stand up for and believe in yourself, trust your gut; and second, take responsibility for your decisions—own them.”
Since graduating from Lafayette College in 1978, Mrs. Fletcher-Hindle has enjoyed a varied career. She started out using her education degree at several nonprofits, including the American Heart Association and Planned Parenthood. She then returned to school to earn a nursing degree and practiced nursing in various hospitals for the next 15 years while starting a family.
When her three children started school, Mrs. Fletcher-Hindle became a school nurse in order to have more job flexibility. In 2000, she took a hiatus from working outside the home when her daughter was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia. She homeschooled and nursed her daughter for the next three years.
Upon reentering the workforce, Mrs. Fletcher-Hindle changed careers and became an account manager at HindlePower, Inc., a company she owns with her husband, William Hindle ’74, that manufactures stationary float battery chargers and DC power systems for the utility industry. Concluding her career there in 2016, Mrs. Fletcher-Hindle is now happily retired and volunteering with the Lehigh Valley Habitat for Humanity and the Medical Reserve Corps.
Shanen Aranmór '90
“Oddly enough, I sometimes hated required sports at Blair. I even avoided the requirement by building the set for Godspell one trimester! (I was way too short for basketball anyway. Haha.) It took me 11 years to get back in a pool after being an overweight teenager in a bathing suit in front of the whole school. That said, Blair taught me the importance of discipline and daily exercise. Less than six years after graduation, I ran my first half marathon. Now, I've run at least one marathon on every continent. Strange to think of then and now.”
In 2017, Ms. Aranmór founded Weld Like A Girl, an empowerment project based in Yuma, Arizona, that uses welding and creativity to boost self-esteem and whole-person wellness in girls and women. She is an inspirational life coach, welder, certified welding inspector (CWI) and certified welding educator (CWE). Ms. Aranmór serves as tech chair for the National SkillsUSA Welding Sculpture competition, as well as AZSkills Individual Welding in Arizona. A national and international speaker who is sometimes referred to as “the Wellness Welder,” she guides people of all ages and backgrounds to realize their “inner badass” through all aspects of welding, including fabrication, sculpture, community projects and more.
Ms. Aranmór earned a Bachelor of Science in biology at Lafayette College, a Master of Science in exercise physiology at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign and a Master of Science in community counseling at Minnesota State University, Mankato. Earlier in her career, she served as a college professor of health and wellness; she then added psychology to her repertoire when she became a mental health counselor. She discovered metalworking while seeking a stress management avenue for her students and eventually earned a degree in welding technology. That led to teaching welding courses at Arizona Western College and subsequently serving as the Western Regional Trainer for Miller Electric, one of the top manufacturers of welding equipment in the U.S.
A self-described “reluctant metal artist, retired racing greyhound mom and recovering perfectionist,” Ms. Aranmór is also a seven-continent marathoner, former personal trainer and bodybuilding champion.
Sharon Sutherland ’93, MD, FAAP
“Having just migrated to the U.S. two years before coming to Blair, this experience helped me grow up quickly and become more independent at a young age, which changed the course of my life. Blair’s small class size and the support of the teachers in the community environment helped further my academic career, which put me on the right steps to excel in college.”
A board-certified pediatrician and adolescent medicine specialist, Dr. Sutherland cares for newborns through 21-year-olds as a primary care physician in the Division of General Pediatrics at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP), Cobbs Creek. She is also a Clinical Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, Associated Faculty of the School of Medicine, at The University of Pennsylvania. Her responsibilities here include supervision of pediatric residents and medical students in their community continuity clinic and during pediatric primary care rotations.
Dr. Sutherland has worked in underserved communities for more than 15 years, and she has been recognized in the U.S. and abroad for her efforts in hospitals and as part of community enhancement programs. She recently served on the CHOP Cares Community Advisory Board, where she helped award grants to employees who had developed innovative projects that promote normal childhood development. Dr. Sutherland is the Cobbs Creek clinical lead for NaturePHL, a collaborative program that promotes outdoor play in local parks, trails and green spaces, and she serves as the Cobbs Creek medical consultant for Reach Out and Read, a national program that encourages reading by giving developmentally appropriate books to patients as young as six months old. Since 1997, she has served as a Wight Foundation alumni mentor for students interested in careers in medicine.
Dr. Sutherland received her medical degree from the University of Medicine & Dentistry of New Jersey and completed her internship and residency in pediatrics at St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children in Philadelphia. She earned a bachelor’s degree with distinction in anthropology from The University of Pennsylvania, and she a Newark Wight Foundation graduate of Blair Academy.
Virginia Case ’03
“Through my various experiences and challenges at Blair, I was taught that perseverance, even in the face of self-doubt, would allow me to prevail over the things that seemed impossible. Quieting the voice that says, ‘It's too hard—you’ll never succeed,’ has been instrumental in taking leaps beyond my comfort zone.”
Ms. Case is the founder and CEO of STRATAC Marketing, a user experience design company that focuses on improving business outcomes and generating sales lift for small to medium businesses. She established the company in 2017 following a decade in the marketing industry, and she has since developed and deployed the innovative SOMETM model to address Sales, Operations, Marketing and Employee Engagement in her team’s work with clients.
With diverse study in marketing, business, psychology and technical writing, Ms. Case uses a holistic approach to help business leaders and individuals see their opportunities and challenges through a new lens. Her approach is creative, motivational, strategic and action-oriented.
Ms. Case received her Bachelor of Fine Arts from Carnegie Mellon University and her master’s degree in business management and marketing from George Mason University. A certified expert with the Nielsen Norman Group, Ms. Case is committed to continuing education.