What does it mean to be a woman in a leadership position? What does it mean to be a leader as a woman?
Linda Kuk , vice president of Student Affairs, began the Women In Leadership Dessert (WILD) by posing these questions, among others, to a panel of seven women in leadership positions on campus and in the Fort Collins community. The panel spoke to an audience of nearly 100 women students in various leadership positions on campus.
Jody Donovan , director of Student Transitions and Parent and Family Programs, began the night of empowering and motivational discussion.
She advises future and present leaders to "know your values and what is important to you. Everything is up for negotiation-all they can do is say no."
Jennifer Williams Mollack , director of Black Student Services, described the many different challenges she has encountered as a woman leader and pointed to Rosa Parks as a leading woman who broke the mold.
"There are many different types of leaders," Mollack said. "Rosa Parks was a quiet leader, and she really moved a nation to change."
Audience members listened to the discussion and had the opportunity to ask panel members questions. Conversation then turned to individual tables where students discussed and reflected on what the panel said.
"I thought it was an amazing experience. It was very inspiring," said Christi Silber , junior equine sciences major and president of Alpha Lambda Delta, a national honor society on campus. "I would definitely come back and would encourage others to attend next year."
WILD is the brainchild of senior Erin Datteri , a technical journalism major.
"I originally heard about the idea from a sorority on another campus, only their event was a Women In Leadership Dinner," Datteri said.
Datteri and the Panhellenic Council decided to have dessert instead of dinner for financial reasons.
"I hope the women who came to WILD used this as an opportunity to network with women in leadership positions, listen to the women speak and leave empowered," Datteri said.
Whitney Bostick , junior political science and technical journalism double major, Associated Students of CSU liaison for the Panhellenic Council, assistant director of Leadership Development for ASCSU and member of the executive council for her sorority, said WILD was a worthwhile event to attend.
"It was very reassuring because even though the trail has already been blazed there are still many challenges ahead," Bostick said. "Seeing that others have succeeded makes it an easier way to go."
While all of the panel speakers offered prolific advice, Daniela Cigularova , a graduate student in the Student Affairs and Higher Education Program, offered words of wisdom for all.
"If you are armed with the right attitude, are open to learn and are motivated, it doesn't matter what role you are taking. If you are determined you can accomplish anything," she said.
Other panel speakers included:
- Alma Vigo-Morales, director of Global Diversity and Inclusion for Agilent Technologies
- Jen Warden , CSU women's basketball coach
- Rachel "R.C." Cali , graduate student in the math department who works in the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Student Services office and math and science tutorial department
- Courtney Healey , senior political science and sociology-criminal justice double major and president of ASCSU
- BJ Clark, executive director of Epsilon Sigma Alpha International