Year after year, our most popular event


Join us to network and connect with fellow alumnae over a variety of topics at CWA's annual round-table dinner. Each table will have its own topic; we are proud to showcase discussions led by distinguished alumnae. Bring your own ideas and join the conversations with other graduates from various disciplines.

Ticket includes the following dinner options: salad, chicken entrée and desert, including coffee or tea. Tip included in the ticket price. A cash bar is available.


5:00 to 6:15 p.m. - Cocktail Hour
6:15 to 8:00 p.m. - Dinner and discussion


Table 1 – What does “sisterhood” mean, particularly as we move through life

Joan Ducayet will lead a discussion about how to cope with and adjust to sibling relationships as life brings challenges, as well as pay homage to the sister-like bonds we choose to form with other women friends that can sustain us through difficult times.  Joan is a 1991 graduate of the College of the University of Chicago.  She also holds a master’s degree in secondary teaching from Columbia University.  Joan lives and works in Evanston as an independent speech and copy writer with a history of involvement with area nonprofits such as Center for Independent Futures, the Evanston Community Foundation, and the Evanston Fourth of July Association.  Joan is also an accomplished speech and debate coach, with her speakers competing at the state and national levels.

Table 2 – Beloved Broadway Musicals and Operas

Adrienne Naumann will lead a discussion about Broadway musicals and operas. Participants will be encouraged to discuss their favorites and the reasons why. Adrienne has provided intellectual property law services for 25 years, and has written and spoken extensively on a wide range of cutting-edge intellectual property topics. She is a member of the Chicago Bar Association where she has served as Chairman of the Science, Technology, and Law Committee. Adrienne was the Co-chairman for the Patent Committee of the Converging Technologies Bar Association for 2006-2007. She is a past Secretary and past Board Member of the University of Chicago Women’s Alliance and has an A.B. from the University of Chicago.

Table 3 – Housing Discrimination, Affordable Housing, and Equitable Development

Barbara Barreno-Paschall will lead a discussion on advocacy relating to housing discrimination, affordable housing, and equitable development. She is a Senior Staff Attorney with Chicago Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights and leads the organization’s Housing Opportunity Project. Prior to joining Chicago Lawyers’ Committee, Barbara was an Employment and Labor Associate at Sidley Austin LLP, where she also maintained an active pro bono practice and twice received the firm’s Thomas H. Morsch Award for Pro Bono Achievement. Barbara serves on the Board of Directors for several organizations including Harvard Alumni for Global Women’s Empowerment and in 2018 was elected to serve as a Community Representative on the Kenwood Academy High School Local School Council. Barbara is a graduate of Harvard College, Vanderbilt Law School, and the University of Chicago Harris School of Public Policy (MPP ’17).

Table 4 - What is Evil?

Daryl Koehn will lead a discussion about the nature of evil. Questions touched upon will include: Is evil a matter of malicious intent? Or is evil something more subtle and less obvious? Is evil inside of us or outside of us? Or both? Is there such a thing as “absolute evil”? Daryl is a 1991 graduate of the Committee on Social Thought at the University of Chicago. In addition to the PhD from Social Thought, she holds a MA in politics, philosophy and economics from Oxford University. A professor at DePaul and managing director of the Institute for Business and Professional Ethics, Daryl has written numerous books and articles on ethics and political theory. Her latest book (Springer, 2019) Toward a New (Old) Theory of Responsibility examines why we need to rethink the nature of responsibility in light of global developments such as the rise of artificial intelligence and worldwide climate change. 

Table 5 – They tell me it’s all age and menopause. It that really true?
Irina Fursman will lead a discussion about underlying root causes of health issues many of us experience in our forties, fifties, and beyond, frequently as a result of decades of chronic stress – feeling more tired, achy, and bloated; energy and sleep issues; joint pain; hot flashes; nagging skin issues; and difficulty losing weight. What are their root causes? How to identify them and address them? Irina helps executives and business owners create and integrate personalized self-care systems into their daily lives so they can enjoy their career success and feel great as they begin to plan the next chapter of their lives. She is the Founder of Odysseys into Wellbeing, an executive health coaching and functional health practice. She is a Certified Functional Diagnostic Nutrition Practitioner, a Certified Integrative Nutrition Health Coach, and a former corporate executive with North American and Global responsibilities. Irina received her MBA with honors from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business and an A.B. in Economics, summa cum laude, from Bryn Mawr College.

Table 6 – How Agile Are you?  Leadership Agility - A Necessity for our VUCA World
Elene Cafasso will lead a discussion on how to remain agile when our world today seems to be moving faster and faster. Technology changes incessantly, and the increasing levels of globalization require us to navigate and be "on" 24X7. How are you navigating in this VUCA (Volatility/Uncertainty/Change/Ambiguity) World? Elene will share tips and best practices and introduce the four types of Leadership Agility needed to thrive and advance today. Elene is a professionally trained executive coach and executive mentor. Her coaching enables leaders to achieve their objectives in the areas most critical to their success: leadership agility, emotional intelligence, executive presence, professional communication, and organizational effectiveness. Before founding Enerpace, Elene had a successful corporate career, attaining executive positions in both the banking and telecommunications industries. She holds an MBA from Chicago Booth and has earned the Master Certified Coach designation from the International Coach Federation.


Discount parking is available at the lot on Adams, east of Wabash, entered between Wabash and State.



Event Information

Cost: $41 per person


5:00PM - 8:00PM Tue 16 Jul 2019 ( Timezone: Central )


The Cliff Dwellers Club
200 S. Michigan Suite 2200
Chicago, Illinois 60604 United States

[ Get Directions ]

Look Who's Coming:

Elene Cafasso
Daryl Koehn
Cindy Swanson
Adrienne Naumann
Barbara Barreno-Paschall
Janet Gardner
Courtney Gardner
Penney Fillmer
Elyse Miller
Elizabeth Johnson
Joan Ducayet
Esra Tasdelen
Janice Keeler
Susan Tinnish
Lynn Russell
Ann Logue
Mehrunisa Qayyum
Candice Kline
Guest of Candice Kline
Karin Janowski
Anne Osterman
  University of Chicago Press
Suzanne Sawada
Elizabeth Bleakley
Irina Fursman
Mary Kupjack
Melissa Hansen
  U.S. Bank
Leslie Recht
Samia Wahab
Andrea Wood
Katherine Rush
... a total of 31 guests.
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Event Contact
Elizabeth Bleakley, MBA'02