Growing up with her mother and two sisters, Carol Ross learned from an early age that women could do anything.
“I became a strong feminist,” Ross said. “It seemed natural to me that we should be striving as a country to do more to help women, particularly concerning health.”
Ross first learned of Women’s Health Research at Yale through various friends and in attending an event in which she was impressed by WHRY Director Carolyn M. Mazure’s presentation on the center’s work to achieve equity in research and health care. Carol subsequently was asked to join WHRY’s Advisory Council in 2009 and became the chair two years later.
This summer, after serving as Council Chair for Women’s Health Research at Yale for a decade, Ross will welcome Vice-Chair Susanna Krentz as the new Chair to lead the council. Ross will assume the role of Chair Emerita.
“It’s been a wonderful experience,” said Ross, a longtime New Haven resident. “We’ve developed a relationship of trust with the community that ultimately facilitates our mission of translating research findings to improve the lives of women. It’s been a great privilege to serve as chair for the last 10 years.”
Prior to becoming an essential part of WHRY, Ross had a long and distinguished career as a teacher of Greek and Latin with positions at The Foote School, Wilbur Cross High School, and Choate Rosemary Hall. She also has a cultivated love of music, plays piano and the recorder, and has led the boards of the National Guild of Community Schools of the Arts and the Neighborhood Music School in New Haven.
“I suppose it’s not often you find someone who taught Latin and Greek leading a council on women’s health research,” she said. “But I quickly found this was where I belonged. I could be a voice for women.”
Dr. Mazure praised Ross for her steady hand in helping to solidify the center’s finances that allowed for the launch of dozens of research studies, and in expanding council membership across the country.
“We are so grateful for Carol’s leadership, her friendship, and her commitment to advancing the health of women,” Mazure said.
Ross said she looks forward with great confidence to seeing how Krentz steers the council.
“Her expertise in communication will be helpful for us — she’s terrific at that,” Ross said. “We are doing so many amazing things, and it’s important to let the world know.”
Krentz said she hopes to continue to expand the council, diversify its membership in terms of geography and backgrounds, and ensure that members feel rewarded while adding value. She lauded Ross’ thoughtfulness, attention to detail, and personalized approach to the council and WHRY’s donors, as practiced through regular phone calls and handwritten notes.
"My ambition is to keep that personal touch,” Krentz said. “As we go forward, I will have Carol in mind as a true role model.”