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Honoring women leaders

On college campuses, March is known for spring break, St. Patrick’s Day, and madness on the basketball court.  But several Loyola departments and organizations are celebrating another important aspect of March on campus: Women’s History Month.

Throughout the month of March (and continuing through the beginning of April), several organizations have sponsored events spreading awareness and appreciation for Women’s History Month.  Two events still on the horizon are the Women’s Leadership Reception and the Women’s Leadership Conference. Find out the details below.

Women’s Leadership Reception: March 29, 5:30-7:00 p.m., Beane Hall
At the beginning of the year, people across the Loyola community were asked to nominate women who have provided exemplary service and leadership to other women at Loyola. After receiving more than 50 nominations, Lisa Harris, chair of the WTC women’s history month committee and Liz Hernandez, chair of Gannon Scholars, among others, whittled the nominations down to four praiseworthy individuals, one undergraduate, one graduate student, one faculty member, and one staff member. Harris says though there was stiff competition, these women have been exceptional in their work at Loyola.

“They really rose above and beyond dedication and support to other women,” she says. “They own leadership above and beyond job descriptions and their role as a student leader.  They are really acting as a woman for others, really playing out the Jesuit role.”

Having four official winners is a change from previous years, where anyone who was nominated was recognized, and there were separate events on the Water Tower Campus and Lake Shore Campus. Though everyone is still invited to attend the event this year, Harris emphasized that the recognition will be a bit more ceremonial, which is appropriate for the esteem of what these women have accomplished. Here at Loyola, she says there is a great community and she hopes this will speak to that.

“There is a unique bond there. We can all come together as women, helping others develop into strong women, to be surrounded by a community that values and uplifts women,” she says. “This is an important way to let women know that we recognize that they foster this community.”

For more information, visit the Women’s History Month website here.

Women’s Leadership Conference: April 20, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., The Westin Michigan Avenue
Women have the opportunity to celebrate their passions and identities in many Women’s History Month events, but in late April they have the chance to put what they have learned to work at the Women’s Leadership Conference.

The event originally started in 2008, as a culmination for women who completed the Women’s Leadership certificate through Loyola’s School of Continuing and Professional Studies (SCPS). Since then, according to Carolyn Gosselin, program director at SCPS, the event has grown to a 150 person day of workshops, speakers, and networking.

The conference, whose theme this year is “Resilience,” includes a morning inspirational speaker, a panel of women discussing their leadership journey, a luncheon with a keynote speaker, afternoon workshops on different issues facing women and leadership, and a final opportunity to network with fellow conference attendees. This year the keynote speaker is Dr. Diane Osgood of Osgood Sustainability Consulting, who is a global expert in food sustainability and human rights issues. In addition, she advises Fortune 500 companies and is a senior adviser for the Clinton Global Initiative.

Gosselin, who emphasized that the conference is open to anyone–undergraduate students to working professionals– says what this conference offers is an educational context that offers tools women can apply to their lives immediately.

“It is more than just being spoken to, we offer an opportunity to educate the women as well,” she says. “You are not only getting knowledge from speakers, but you’re walking away with tactical information you can bring to the office Monday morning and apply.”

For more information, visit the Women’s Leadership Conference website here.

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