CNN reporter to speak about women’s history

By Chloe Lister


CNN National political correspondent and Westlake alumna Jessica Yellin ’89 will speak March 7 at the Women’s History Month Assembly.

English and Gender Studies teacher Martha Wheelock, who organizes the assembly every year as part of her Gender Studies class, said that she looks for “women who have made history” when choosing a speaker, which was what drew her to Yellin.

Wheelock said that the fact that Yellin is young, “walking her talk” and had a feminist education at Westlake was important in her choice.

“She came to the Women’s History Month assemblies here herself,” Wheelock said.

Wheelock thought that Yellin would be able to stress that even today, women still need to stand up for their rights.

“There’s still work we women need to do,” Wheelock said. “It ain’t all peaches and cream yet.”

Yellin graduated from Harvard University and began her career in broadcasting in Florida.

In 2000, Yellin covered the presidential election recount for WTVT-TV in Tampa. Yellin became a White House correspondent for ABC News and, in 2007, a Capitol Hill correspondent for CNN.

Yellin has interviewed Presidents George W. Bush and Bill Clinton, and has reported from several countries, including China, Mongolia and Russia. At ABC she reported on programs such as World News, Good Morning America and Nightline. She contributes to The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer and John King, USA.

Additionally, Yellin has been published in the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, Entertainment and Details Weekly.

After Yellin left Westlake, her parents set up the Yellin Award for Women’s Studies, awarded annually to one of Wheelock’s Gender Studies students.

Wheelock said that she has invited all of the past winners of the award to the assembly and is hoping to get as many of them on stage with Yellin as possible.

Wheelock said that she has always known about Yellin despite having begun her teaching career at Harvard-Westlake after she had graduated.

“Sometimes the best person is right under our nose and we forget about it,” Wheelock said.