Francesmary Modugno has been an educator for more than 25 years. She has a deep commitment to youth and believes that with the right support, all young people can excel in whatever area they choose. This belief is rooted in her own personal experience: as the daughter of a mechanic and a homemaker, neither of whom had a high school diploma, she was determined to become a university researcher and professor. In 1995, she achieved her dream when she joined the faculty of the University of Washington.

Francesmary Modugno graduated Magna Cum Laud from Cornell University with degrees in mathematics and computer science and as a general College of Arts and Sciences Scholar. She is among the first women to receive MS and Ph.D. degrees in computer science from Carnegie Mellon University, where she was one of the founders of the Andrew's Leap program for gifted students. During her graduate career she also taught at the Johns Hopkins Center for Academically Talented Youth.

After a time on the faculty at the University of Washington, Dr. Modugno returned to school to refocus her research on the origin and prevention of women's cancers. As a fellow supported by the National Cancer Institute, she received her Masters in Public Health, after which she joined the faculty of the University of Pittsburgh. In addition to her research on cancer, Dr. Modugno founded and co-directed the Cancer Epidemiology and Prevention Training Graduate Program at the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute. The program has become a leader in training graduate students in cancer research. Dr. Modugno has advised over a dozen graduate students and has authored over 100 peer-reviewed articles.

In November 2006, Dr. Modugno left academia to spend more time with her young family. She now runs her own consulting business that helps individuals and community organizations initiate new programs and obtain grant support. She has also become a community activist for the rights of students and their families.

Advocating for the Youth of the Carlynton School District

Most recently, Dr. Modugno has been challenging the Carlynton School District to update its facilities policy to be more inclusive and provide greater opportunities for the youth of that area. Unfortunately, at the last school board meeting, a group of directors pushed through a new, highly restrictive, punitive and detrimental policy. The policy that was voted on was not made public and was e-mailed to all directors only the morning of the vote. The vote was not part of the public agenda and there was no valid reason for the directors to "push through" a vote on the proposal without first seeking public input on the specific policy. Residents present at the meeting were not given an opportunity to comment on the specific policy before it was adopted. In addition,the block of directors who pushed it through allowed only brief discussion by the other directors before forcing a vote. The other directors didn't even have time to understand what they were voting on.

You can observe this egregious affront to the democratic process here:

You can read a detailed response to a message one director is sending around defending her position here.

  • Read a brief editorial on how this policy was passed with links to source documents, video of the meeting and suggestions for what you can do to help.
  • Read a detailed editorial on the underhanded way in which the new policy was passed with links to source documents, video of the meeting and suggestions for what you can do to help.
  • Video clips of some directors expressing their viewpoints of this issue at various school board meetings. Entire meeting discussions are also here.
  • Comments to the Carlynton school board on April 17, 2008 and May 1, 2008 urging the school board to adopt a more open policy and to seek input from the community prior to adopting any new policies.
  • Proposed modifications to the previous policy that would address the concerns raised about the current policy while at the same time ensure that resident groups can create the best possible environment for citizens, especially youth.
  • The 7 original proposals put forth by the Carlynton school board. These clearly show an intent to heavily penalize any group that has non-resident members. Some even penalize youth sports teams for hosting home meets against non-resident teams.

Press coverage

All press coverage on this topic if located under Carlynton Facilities - Press Coverage.

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