Sage Stories


What’s your Sage Story?
Whether it’s meeting life-long friends, learning from extraordinary professors, or experiences from college events and school traditions, we want to hear about it.

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Rose Weinberg Einhorn, RSC ’29

Accomplished Writer, Honored Civic Volunteer and Dedicated Alumna

Weinberg001_2Rose Weinberg Einhorn graduated cum laude from Russell Sage in 1929 as a writer. She married attorney Joseph H. Einhorn and resided in Albany, New York.

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Rose circa 1929

She wrote numerous poems as editor of the college’s literary magazine. Upon graduation she became society editor of the former Troy Times and the Troy Times-Record, where she started the first society page. She was the first editor of the Russell Sage alumnae magazine and also edited the Red Cross newsletter, Red Cross Currents, nationally. She was appointed to the National Board of Governors of the American Red Cross and held many leadership positions in the Albany Chapter. She received the Spencer Standish Award for a lifetime of dedicated service to the community and the Red Cross.

She was an active member of the Alumnae Association and served as an alumnae trustee, an alumnae coordinator for the college’s 50th anniversary, and received the Doris L. Crockett Medal, the Russell Sage College Alumnae Association’s highest honor. She served on the operating board of the Junior College of Albany and was on the advisory committee for setting up the Evening Division. She was president of the Women’s Joint Legislative Forum, the Albany Section of the National Council of Jewish Women, and was a vice president of the City Club of Albany. She served on the regional council of the New York State Commission for Human Rights, the Albany branch of the Association of University Women, Jewish Social Service, Protestant Family Welfare Service, Temple Beth Emeth, the New York State Commission on Discrimination, and the Mental Health Association. During World War II, Albany’s Mayor Corning appointed her volunteer information head for the Albany City and County War Council. She also served on the executive committee of the Albany Tulip Festival. She was elected a distinguished member of the International Society of Poets.

She and Joe visited six continents and 159 countries. During their travels, they collected dolls from each country and in 1991 donated the entire Einhorn World Doll Collection to Russell Sage College.

Her close relatives who also attended Sage include sister Pearl Weinberg Werlin RSC ’37, niece Barbara Werlin Gorenstein, Esq., RSC ’76 and great-nephew Benjamin Gorenstein SCA ’09.

Story submitted by the family of Rose Weinberg Einhorn.

Pearl Weinberg Werlin, RSC ’37

Career Achievement, Community Involvement and Sage Part of Her Family’s Tradition

Werlin_Pearl“An imaginative mind and unflinching idealism … Quick to see the good, recognize the true, and appreciate the beautiful … Trinkets … Tea Dances … White roses … An entertaining style of writing and a talent for drawing … All the qualities of a sincere friend — altruism, tactfulness and patient understanding … Devotee of all forms of art … Gracious … Expansive … Completely natural … Likes Ping Pong, Scrapbooks, Cactus plants … A romantic temperament … A pleasing personality … Review…Feature Editor of Quill … Secretary-Treasurer of Gamma Sigma … Art Federation … Poetry Group.” –Sage Leaves, the Russell Sage College yearbook, 1937

Pearl Weinberg Werlin graduated from Russell Sage College in 1937 with a Bachelor of Arts degree with concentrations in English, Teaching and Fashion Art. She went on to attend Columbia University in New York City where she studied advertising. Pearl returned to Troy to head the advertising department of Weinberg’s Women’s fashions, her family’s clothing business on Third Street.

In 1944 she married Samuel J. Werlin, M.D., and helped out in his pediatric office in Troy. After starting a family, she became a substitute teacher and office volunteer at School 18 in Troy and a president of the PTA. She was awarded the honor of lifetime membership in the PTA.

She was president of the Temple Berith Sholom Sisterhood, and a member of the board of trustees; president of the Troy chapter of the National Council of Jewish Women; president of the medical auxiliary of the Medical Society of Rensselaer County; and corresponding secretary of the Medical Society of Albany County.

She was a member of the Illium and Birchkill Arts Society and active in the Rensselaer County Council for the Arts. She was a gifted and accomplished oil painter. She was a member of the Jewish Genealogical Society of the Capital District. Her close relatives who also attended Sage include sister Rose Weinberg Einhorn RSC ’29, daughter Barbara Werlin-Gorenstein, Esq., RSC ’76 and grandson Benjamin Gorenstein SCA ’09.

Story submitted by the family of Pearl Weinberg Werlin.


Miss Jane Gale, RSC ’48

Memories of My Grandfather’s House and Russell Sage College

Gale_Jane002Jane Gale’s great-great-grandfather, Samuel Gale, founded the Troy Savings Bank. Her great-grandfather, banker and railroad executive E. Thompson Gale, purchased the Troy Female Seminary which enabled Emma Willard to establish her school on the site of what is now Russell Sage College. In 1938, her grandfather sold 59 First Street to Russell Sage College for $1. Today, Gale House is a residence hall for sophomores, juniors and seniors.

My grandfather gave his house, 59 First Street, to Russell Sage College with the understanding that he would live in it until he died. When he died, the house went to Russell Sage College and was called Gale House. Gale House became the English department. The bedrooms upstairs were the professors’ offices. The parlors on the first floor became the classrooms. I went to Russell Sage College. My first class was in English, and so I sat there taking notes in what had been my grandfather’s front parlor.

In 1993, we all knew that a movie was going to be filmed in our city, Troy, New York. I heard from a friend that they were going to film on First Street. Then I heard they were going to film inside the house that my Grandfather Gale had given to Russell Sage College.

I wanted to go down and see what they were doing. I dressed very carefully with my best clothes and my best shoes. I took the morning off from work, went downtown and walked to First Street across from my Grandfather’s house. The police were stopping people from crossing. So I drew myself up and with much dignity, went up to the policemen and drawled, “I am Miss Gale, and that house was my family home, and I would like to see what they are doing in it.” He took me right across the street and into the house and left me to go anywhere I wanted. I stayed on the ground floor and came across a tripod with the camera all set up to be used. I learned they were going to film that afternoon. I stood by the camera and looked to see what it was pointed at.

When the movie, The Age of Innocence, came out, it was shown in Troy. There was a scene of two men talking to each other — the older of the two giving advice to the other. They were in just the spot I had seen that morning when I was in my grandfather’s house at Russell Sage College.

Suzanne Freedman Juster, RSC ’48

Thank You, Dear Russell Sage! You Have Afforded Me Many Personal and Career Accomplishments

Juster, Suzanne FreedmanRussell Sage College changed my life! In 1944 I graduated from Troy High School as the class salutatorian and thus won the most coveted prize: a four year scholarship to Russell Sage College. I can still remember that thrilling announcement: it overwhelmed me, my parents (who rose up screaming and hugging each other) and all my teachers and friends. I graduated from Sage with a major in English and a minor in Speech. I then went on for my master’s degree and once again, my beloved college helped me with a grant. This allowed me to attend New York State College for Teachers in Albany.

My education was followed with many years of study, teaching and training. In 1965 I became a fully licensed speech pathologist. This period of time in my life also included a marriage in 1954 and the birth of three beautiful daughters!Juster, Suzanne Freedman BOCA2

Over 53 years of private practice, I specialized in geriatric neurology working both in Schenectady, New York, and in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. I developed a staff in South Florida and founded the South Florida Speech and Language Center. The center served private practice patients, home health agencies, nursing homes and hospitals. In 1981 I went on to found the first stroke support group for stroke survivors and their caregivers at Northwest Medical Center and University Hospital, both located in Fort Lauderdale. Today, I still lead the Northwest Medical Center group.

My memories are many and seem like yesterday. Russell Sage turns 100 and I turn 90 this year. Upon reflection, Sage and I will always be intertwined in my heart. It is with the deepest gratitude that I say thank you, dear Russell Sage! You have afforded me many, many happy personal and career accomplishments. As I stated in my introduction, Russell Sage changed my life forever! With Deep Affection, Suzanne Freedman Juster


Barbara Tyrell Kelly, RSC ’49

Close Friends at Russell Sage College Became Extended Family

Barbara Tyrell_croppedWhen I, Barbara Tyrell Kelly was a junior at Russell Sage College, Emily Hodges transferred to Russell Sage and was assigned to Wool House. Our friendship blossomed, probably because we both loved music and could wear each other’s clothes. We had great fun playing piano duets in the recreation room, primarily to antagonize the serious bridge players who hung out there. The card players especially hated us when we played “The Funeral March.”

I graduated in 1949 but Emily had changed majors and would be getting out in 1950. I had dated Charles Kelly from RPI for two years and when we got married on August 6 in Lake Placid, Emily was one of my bridesmaids. Charlie had another year at RPI, so we lived in Troy, not far from Russell Sage and Emily, who sometimes dated one of the “Four Horsemen” from RPI’s barbershop quartet.

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Emily Hodges, RSC ’50

Emily graduated and moved back to Torrington, Connecticut. In 1951, with two baby daughters, Charles and I moved to Brooklyn where Charles’ first job was calling on doctors and hospitals for the Upjohn pharmaceutical company. Emily called one day and said “I want you and Charlie to meet me in a bar in Brooklyn. I would like to introduce you to the man I am going to marry. His name is Fred Chaison.”

By the time we had our third child in 1953, Emily and Fred Chaison had almost caught up to us with a daughter and a son. The Chaisons ended up with eight children, and Charlie and I had five.

Our families spent a lot of time together over the years, even after the Chaisons moved from Connecticut to Puerto Rico. We visited them there and each year they spent their month-long sabbatical at our home in Connecticut. We were used to dealing with 13 kids.

Around 1975, the Chaisons returned from Puerto Rico to live in Bloomfield, Connecticut, while Charlie and I and our youngest children moved to Denver, Colorado.

As the children grew, Emily chased a dream and earned a degree in music, with a concentration in piano. She also became president of the Connecticut Valley Girl Scouts. In Denver, I too, signed up with the Girl Scouts – as a member of the board of directors, trainer, event planner, camp director and troop leader. I also chased my dream by joining the Denver Figure Skating Club and began skating and competing again (I competed in Adult Nationals from 1995 through 2008! I still skate but do not compete).

Emily, Fred and my husband Charlie have passed away, but the Kelly and Chaison families still get together: my son Doug and Emily’s daughter Deb – who, as toddlers, were kept in the same playpen when the families got together — were married in 2009. They live in Virginia on property they have named Camp KellyChaison and friends and family from all over of the country gathered there in July to celebrate my 88th birthday.


Diane Carey Simmons, JCA ’66

A Wonderful Education That Has Influenced My Life For More Than 50 Years!

My Sage experience began in 1964 when I entered the retailing program at what was then called Junior College of Albany. A fellow student encouraged me to apply for a retail advertising position in downtown Albany. I got the job and stayed there for seven years until my son was born. When I returned to work three years later, I got another retail advertising job in Troy. When the advertising department closed I knew where I wanted to go next.

I lived three miles from Russell Sage College and that’s where I wanted to work. I had been “Sageless” for long enough. I got a part-time position in the Health Education department and eventually a full-time position in the Education department. I used the tuition benefits to take art courses at night on the Albany campus, where I enjoyed the small campus atmosphere once again. When my son changed colleges and needed to take some courses for one semester, Sage again changed my life. He met a lovely girl in an astronomy class on the Albany campus, and as I like to say “they saw stars.” They’ve been married for more than 20 years and have given my husband and me two wonderful grandchildren.

I retired from Sage in 2000; I have moved to Florida and am in retailing once again. Thank you Sage for a wonderful education that has influenced my life for more than 50 years!

Charito Haines Drezek, RSC ’02, SGS ’08

Being a Sage Alumna is a Wonderful Feeling!

My mother, Teofista Haines RSC ’86, wanted to be a nurse due to my cleft palate and bilateral cleft lip. She graduated with her nursing degree and also recommended that I apply to Russell Sage.

I started as a Physical Therapy major and quickly changed it to Creative Arts in Therapy with a concentration in Music when it was time to dissect pigs in Biology. I graduated and worked for the Center for Disabilities as well as Living Resources. I found my calling to be a teacher when I began working as a teacher assistant at Crossroads Center for Children, a private school for students with autism.

I enrolled at Sage Graduate School, earned my master’s in Childhood and Special Education and am now in my eighth year teaching in the Schenectady City School District. My principal is also a Purple Cow! I had my wedding ceremony in the beautiful Bush Memorial in 2011. I’m in contact with my fellow Purple Cows Amy Lavo Gregor RSC ’02 and Ambi Daniel RSC ’02. I also don’t want to forget my Russell Sage Little Sister Melanie Curtis RSC ’04. Being a Sage alumna is a wonderful feeling and I have always appreciated the small, intimate classes and wonderful professors Linda Davern, Michelle Reilly, Michael Musial, Mark Ahola, Leigh Davies, Tom Sweeney, Syb Jennings, Harold Lohner and Pam Arnold. Thank you from the bottom of my heart, Sage!


Kelly Manning Powers, RSC ’09

I Left RSC with a Nursing Degree and a Real Sense of the Woman I was Meant to Be!

I went to Russell Sage knowing I wanted to be a nurse; I left Russell Sage College with so much more than a bachelor’s degree in Nursing. I graduated with a degree and a real sense of the woman I was meant to be. I worked as a nurse at Glens Falls Hospital, then became a clinical research coordinator for a cardiology office where I worked on pharmaceutical trials before medications went to the FDA to be approved. From there I worked in a dermatology office assisting with skin cancer removal surgery, until I finally found my dream job as a middle school nurse! Thank you Russell Sage for showing me how to be a woman of influence and how to stand up for what I believe in. The best decision I ever made was to attend Russell Sage College!

Stephanie Ford Kreis, RSC ’11

Finding Support and Success as an Adult Student

Stephanie Ford Kreis RSC 11_croppedAttending Russell Sage College truly changed my life. As an older student returning to obtain my bachelor’s degree after working menial jobs in order to save money, I was intimidated. Would I be smart enough to succeed? Would I be able to handle the workload? Would I be able to finish? Quite frankly, I was terrified. However, I knew that I wanted a degree in English and I knew that I would have to dedicate myself to school regardless of how terrified I was of failing. I am so glad that I persevered.

Never have I been in a more supportive environment and I was able to flourish under the tutelage of the great professors in the English Department. My professors and mentors, David Salomon, Ph.D., Tonya Moutray, Ph.D., and Shealeen Meaney, Ph.D., challenged me and supported me, inspired me and believed in me, and never gave up on me even when I felt like giving up on myself. I am honored to have learned from them. Because of their investment in me, I was able to graduate from Russell Sage College with high honors and to obtain my master’s degree. I am so thankful for my experience and the chance to learn from intelligent and inspiring professors — I would truly not be the person I am today, experiencing the successes I have had in subsequent years, had I not gone to Russell Sage.


Scott Dickinson

Because of Russell Sage, We Found Our Own Way

Dickinson SawyerHere is my Sage Story.

It all hung by a thread. In 1996, my marriage ended and my time with my daughter Rachelle was reduced to visit days. There was a labor strike at my work and I moved back to my parents’ house just before my 30th birthday.

When the strike ended, I grabbed work hours where I could, took a seasonal job at the mall, scanned help wanted ads, warded off bill collectors and fought for more visit time with my girl. These were hard days but, even working six days a week, I kept my chin up for my Rachelle.

Going into the second year of this predicament, a co-worker alerted me to a job opening at Russell Sage College for women. It was an entry-level College Services position. Desperate for some stability, I sent a resume.

A week after sending it, I was hired. One story ended and a new one began.

I was welcomed by the College Services staff immediately. I laughed (a lot!) with these people. Then, I moved into the neighborhood when an apartment became available just off campus, a beautiful brownstone on Second Street. Another plus: I was minutes from Rachelle’s mom’s house. Our time together increased.

Rachelle grew up with Russell Sage as a backdrop. When she visited me at work, she enjoyed helping sort student mail. We went to Little Theater plays and Sagette concerts and she loved the flowers all over campus on Reunion weekends.

We weren’t hanging by a thread anymore. Even though I still had to work two jobs, she was beginning to thrive, with me in her life nearly as much as if we were a whole family. I was by no means rich, but I was far from poor. I was ecstatic for finding stability for us. Those dark, hard days were gone. We had room to breathe, to grow, and I exhaled.

All of this makes for a great Sage story. But there is more.

In 1999, Robin Sawyer, who is now director of advancement resources at Sage, became the postal coordinator in College Services (she had already worked for Sage for 10 years at that point.) A friendship grew between us and we remained friends even after I left the employ of the college in 2000. We became a couple and have now been married for 12 years, building a life for us, her children Christopher and Elizabeth, and my Rachelle.

With 2016 well underway, the pull of reminiscing gives way to looking ahead. The pinnacle of our Sage Story is now upon us. Robin and Rachelle (who earned a bachelor’s degree at Russell Sage in 2014 — her baccalaureate ceremony was held within steps of our old apartment!) each graduated from Russell Sage this year with master’s degrees. Health Care Management for Robin and Occupational Therapy for Rachelle.

To think of all the things that changed in our lives for the better because of Russell Sage is truly remarkable. Simply put, because of Russell Sage, we found our way.


Share Your Sage Story