September 09, 2014

Conference to focus on women’s leadership

by Christi Mathis

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- Southern Illinois University Carbondale continues ongoing efforts to foster leadership development among its students during the inaugural Women’s Leadership Conference set for Sept. 19 at the Student Center.  

The free event is open to all undergraduate and graduate students as well as a select group of invited high school students from throughout the region who have demonstrated leadership potential.  The conference, which begins with registration and breakfast at 8:30 a.m., features an undergraduate research poster session, a registered student organization fair, guest speakers, breakout sessions, breakfast and lunch and the opportunity to network with peers, faculty and staff.  

Mallory Johnston, NASA engineer and 3-D SCAN project manager, is the keynote speaker.  Johnston, a 2010 mechanical engineering graduate from Tennessee Technological University, will present “Reaching for the Stars.” Cindy Buys, SIU School of Law professor, will speak at the closing session at 2:15 p.m. 

The three breakout sessions will include presentations to promote and develop leadership skills, preparing participants for scholastic and career success.  Participants will learn of the diversity of women’s leadership roles and gain insight into programming available at SIU.  They will also have the chance to interact with women leaders among the faculty, staff and community. 

The conference will be of particular interest to students majoring in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields as well as those studying business and agriculture.  All students are welcome to attend.  

There is no cost to attend but participants must register no later than Friday, Sept. 12, by calling 618/453-6366 or at  Organizers emphasize that students are welcome to come and spend the entire day or come and go based upon class schedules and other commitments. Students should RSVP as soon as possible to assure availability of sufficient meals. 

Poster presentations during the conference will highlight undergraduate and graduate research work at SIU.  Event organizers welcome poster presentation proposals from students.  The conference concludes with an RSO Fair, giving attendees the chance to learn more about various campus student organizations. 

Sponsors include the Society of Women Engineers, the Women’s Resource Center, the College of Business, the College of Science, Success in Engineering through Excellence and Diversity, and University Women’s Professional Advancement.