women of impact

Notre Dame's 12th Annual Women of Impact Luncheon

Virtual event on Thursday, October 22 at 1:30pm

Notre Dame’s 12th annual Women of Impact Luncheon on Thursday, October 22 honors women who have made significant contributions to their communities. This year’s honorees are Notre Dame alumna and author Fama Farheen Mirza and renowned astronomer Sandra Moore Faber.

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The virtual event spotlights the role women have played in history, recognizes and celebrates those making significant contributions to society and showcases the regional and global impact of developing meaningful and integrated learning programs for young women.

The oldest high school for girls in the western United States, Notre Dame has been educating women in Santa Clara Valley since 1851. Supporting the discovery of each young woman’s voice and leadership capabilities, the school has been preparing women for lives of distinction ever since. The 12th Annual Women of Impact Luncheon takes place virtually on Thursday, October 22, 2020. Join us to celebrate women making significant contributions to society!

About the Honorees:

Sandra Moore Faber

Sandra Faber is University Professor Emerita at the University of California, Santa Cruz, and a staff member of the UCO/Lick Observatory. She is an observational astronomer with research interests in cosmology and galaxy formation. Some of her major discoveries include the first structural scaling law for galaxies (called the Faber-Jackson law), large-scale flow perturbations in the expansion of the Universe caused by superclusters of galaxies, and super-massive black holes at the centers of galaxies. In 1984, she and three colleagues presented the first detailed treatment of galaxy formation based on “cold dark matter,” which became the standard paradigm for galaxy and cluster formation in the Universe. Faber earned a bachelor's degree in physics from Swarthmore College and a PhD in astronomy from Harvard. She has received various awards for her work and holds honorary degrees from six colleges and universities in the United States and abroad.

Fatima Farheen Mirza '09

Fatima Farheen Mirza was born and raised in California and graduated from Notre Dame in 2009. Her father grew up in the city of Hyderabad in Southern India while her mother came from a British-Indian family in Birmingham, England. They raised their family in the San Francisco Bay Area, and Mirza said at times she felt like both an insider and outsider of her community, faith and family. At 18, while on the pre-med track at the University of California, Riverside, Mirza tried her hand at fiction, tackling a story about the Muslim diaspora in America that was informed by her own experience as a first-generation daughter in an immigrant family. She is a graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and a recipient of the Michener-Copernicus Fellowship. She has taught creative writing and fiction courses at the University of Iowa, Catapult and NYU. Her debut novel, A Place For Us, was an instant New York Times best seller and was translated into seven languages. Her essays have appeared in GRANTA and The Good Immigrant.

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