Program Promotes Leadership Skills In Women
9, 1999 -- Encouraging young women to become leaders
is the goal of a University of Virginia program that begins this
in part because national research shows that women on co-ed campuses
doubt themselves and their abilities more than men do, U.Va.'s Women's
Leadership Development Program gives first- and second-year female
students a chance to learn from successful role models.
the program's three segments, held on Feb. 13, March 6 and March
25, participants will learn about the risks and rewards of leadership
from faculty, student leaders and community activists. About 60
women, recommended by University organizations as having leadership
Women's Leadership Development Program is a one-of-a-kind program
at U.Va.," said Leah Friedman, a fourth-year student and past participant.
"It teaches important lessons that cannot be found in any classroom.
In a school where so many professors and administrators are
the program is a place where women students can celebrate their
successes and accomplishments while motivating and teaching each
other that the world is theirs."
Blanke, president and CEO of Lifedesigns, a company that advises
people how to take charge of their lives, will be the keynote speaker
at the first session on Feb. 13. The best-selling author of "In
My Wildest Dreams, Living the Life You Long For," Blanke will begin
her talk at 10 a.m. in Maury Hall.
the talk, participants will attend three panel discussions. In one
session, entitled "What I Wish I'd Known," students Liz Gagliardi,
Tameka Simmons, Peggy Boutilier, Yen Shek and Danette Wolpert will
describe their experiences and offer advice about assuming leadership
Cabell Vest, Jim Steichan, Josh Scott, Kazz Pinkard and Rhodes Ritenour
will share their thoughts about how men and women communicate and
work together during a session titled "Men are From Mars; Women
are from Venus." A third session, "Making Your Wildest Dreams Come
True," will offer guidance and encouragement.
U.Va.'s long tradition of student self-governance, we see the University
as being a 'leadership laboratory.' The women's leadership program
offers insights to female students on how women have been able to
balance their lives, negotiating personal, family and career goals
and needs," said V. Shamim Sisson, associate dean of students.
important component of the program, Sisson says, is the mentoring
opportunity. At the conclusion of the first Saturday program, participants
will have an opportunity to establish mentoring relationships with
the community and University leaders.
program's second segment will be held on Saturday, March 6. Among
the three topics the students will consider that day are "Balancing
Career and Family." During that session couples will describe the
challenges of working and maintaining quality family-time.
program will end on Thursday, March 25, with a dinner and an inspirational
Dean of Students Office established the Women's Leadership Development
Program in 1990 after a female vice president of Student Council
expressed concerns about the challenges she faced. A concurrent
study by U.Va.'s Office of Career Planning and Placement showed
students often had greater reservations about their abilities than
their male peers.
participants have indicated that the program was effective in encouraging
them to pursue leadership roles. Many describe rewarding mentor
relationships that have developed.
Women's Leadership Development Program taught me the meaning of
'limitlessness,'" said Friedman. "After I met female student leaders
and local women who were extremely successful in their careers,
that I could do anything I wanted here at the University and in
the world, for that matter. I just had to find my passions and go
for it all."
more information, contact Shamim Sisson at (804) 924-7427 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Leah Friedman can be reached at (804) 923-3287 or email@example.com.
Ida Lee Wootten, (804) 924-6857.