February 22, 2013

18 students selected for Women’s Civic Institute

by Christi Mathis

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- As one of the 50 lead institutions for the national Civic and Democratic Learning Initiative, Southern Illinois University Carbondale has launched the Women’s Civic Institute.

Eighteen female graduate and undergraduate students from various academic areas were selected to participate in the program developed by the Center for Service-Learning and Volunteerism.  The women, chosen on the basis of applications and interviews, share a common interest in becoming more aware, engaged citizens and in developing their leadership and networking skills for careers in public service, according to organizers.

Through assorted programs, the participants will interact with key women leaders from the public and non-profit sectors, further their self-development, and have the opportunity to lead and participate in community service events within their own communities.  The institute gives the participants a peer network including others with similar goals and a desire to make a difference today and in their careers in the future.

The institute kicked off with a Leadership Workshop Feb. 8 led by Cynthia Sims, associate professor in Workforce Education and Development.  The event also gave the students the opportunity to attend a networking reception featuring Chancellor Rita Cheng and other female campus leaders.

Several additional events are on tap this semester.  Some are open to the campus community and general public while others are specifically for institute participants.  The spring schedule, noting if an event is open to the public, includes:

            •  Presentation by Dianne Bystrom, director of the Carrie Chapman Catt Center for Women and Politics at Iowa State University and commentator regarding political and women’s issues for state, national and international media, Feb. 25, 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m., Student Center, Ballroom B.  Open to the public.

            •  Linda Renee Baker, University professor with the Paul Simon Public Policy Institute, will speak at the institute March 4, 3-4 p.m.  Prior to coming to SIU, Baker held key management positions including secretary of the Department of Human Services, director of the Department of Employment Security and assistant director of the Department of Public Aid during the tenures of three Illinois governors.  Open to the public.

            •  Women’s Leadership Panel, March 29, giving participants the opportunity to meet with women who founded regional non-profit organizations, applying their professional skills to making a difference in their communities.  The leaders will share their visions, passions, successes and challenges.

            •  Community Service Project for participants, April 20, details to be determined.

            •  Reflection and Wrap-up, April 26, with participants discussing their experiences during the institute, completing assessment surveys and offering suggestions for future programs.

The National Association of Student Personnel Administrators-Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education selected the 50 lead institutions for the national Civic and Democratic Learning Initiative.  SIU was chosen from among 1,400 member institutions to participate in the program on the basis of the University’s outstanding work to advance service initiatives.

Spring 2013 Women’s Civic Institute participants, listed by hometown with major and year, are:


            •  Phi Le, psychology, junior


            •  Mallary Allen, sociology, graduate student

            •  Jonetta Clark, social work, senior

            •  Kelsey Cruse, psychology, junior

            •  Deidra Davis, environmental resource and policy, graduate student


            •  Adaline Tucker, political science, sophomore


            •  Michelle Fletcher, public administration, graduate student

            •  Kalekey Love El, undecided, sophomore

Crystal Lake

•  Crystle LaCroix, elementary education, junior

Du Quoin

            •  Jordee Justice, MBA


            •  Arden Lockwood, higher education administration, graduate student

Hazel Crest

            •  Jamila Akil, MBA


            •  Faith Ritchie, public administration, graduate student


            •  Leah Williams, media management, graduate student



            •  Evette Brown, media management, graduate student



            •  Shiloh Deitz, sociology, graduate student



            •  Yurino Kawashima, sociology, graduate student


Piedras Negas, Coahuila

            •  Melva Treviño-Pena, geography and environmental resources, graduate student