Women’s Summit Encourages Leaders

The summit’s tag line, “We believe in the ability of young women to change the world” was well exemplified during Sunday’s event. Students from across campus gathered to meet inspirational women and learned to excel as leaders.

Ambitious women from all over campus gathered in the DSU Ballroom bright and early this past Sunday at 8:30 a.m. to spend the day with influential women on campus for CNU’s second annual Women’s Leadership Summit.

Registration included three educational sessions, breakfast and lunch, a student panel and the chance to have a professional headshot taken.

Registration was free, and the summit also counted as a President’s Leadership Program (PLP) passport event for students.

The goal of this year’s leadership summit was to empower strong women leaders on campus by providing resources needed to succeed.
Students Allison Baltz, Alyssa Morris, Emily Olyha, Emily Thomas, Kelcie Chandler and Peyton Eckhardt were coordinators of the event.

“As a coordinator for this year’s Women’s Leadership Summit, I had the privilege of working alongside five other incredible women from different aspects of campus,” says Eckhardt.

“We met weekly in order to plan all of the details, such as faculty speakers and the student panel. We heavily focused on strategic ways to get women across CNU from different organizations and aspects of campus to register for the event.”

The day started with a keynote speech from Bonny Shade, a distinguished speaker and published author known for telling her own story to educate and empower others, according to the summit’s program pamphlet.

“She lives like Beyoncé, handles business like Madeleine Albright and speaks truth like Kanye,” stated the pamphlet.

Participants then had multiple options of educational sessions hosted by CNU staff members and past conference speakers.

During lunch, there was a panel made up of student women leaders on campus, followed by one last educational session.

While CNU’s Panhellenic Council largely influenced the emergence of this summit, it was in no way a solely Greek event.

It provided a space and time for all collegiate women, Greek and non-Greek, to gather and discuss relevant topics pertaining to their success.

Panhellenic helped “fund the conference and make sure the day-of ran smoothly,” according to Kristina Randall, the Vice President of Recruitment on Panhellenic’s Executive Board.
39 percent of the women who attended this year’s summit were non-Greek.

“I truly hope the participants got a lot of advice from this summit geared towards women specifically in both professional and academic aspects,” says Randall.

“The goal was to help them meet fellow women leaders on campus, and be inspired to work their hardest and change their organizations, one leadership position at a time,” she says.

Coordinators had a special place in their hearts for the summit before going into it, providing substantial efforts toward making the event a success.

“I was passionate about the summit when I applied for my position as marketing coordinator, but I found a new love for this campus, community and the women I was able to work alongside of throughout my experiences with this year’s program,” says Eckhardt.

This previous weekend was not only focused on creating better women leaders.

Following a similar pattern, the Men’s Leadership Initiative, presented by CNU’s Interfraternity Council, took place the day before, on Oct. 7, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. in the Ballroom.

Food was provided, and the event consisted of keynote speakers and experiences that focused on intrapersonal and interpersonal skills, career planning and relevant trends.

Counting as a PLP and Honors event for students in those programs, the initiative stated their mission to be “Guiding quality men into leaders of the future.”