Students Gain Valuable Insights at National Leadership Conference

June 22, 2016

During an evening in D.C., the students had the chance to meet fellow Fordies, including Arielle Carter, '08 (left).

The students brought their Briton pride with them to the conference.

The students paused for a photo at the Washington Monument.

Ford Institute Coordinator Amy Everhart (center) accompanied the students on the trip.

From left: Madison Bowen, '19; Andrea Sanchez, '19; Que Langston, '18; Maddie Beattie, '17; Kendra Gembala, '19; and Mary Owens-Palmer, '19

Six Albion College students and one staff member attended the recent National Conference for College Women Student Leaders (NCCWSL), hosted by the American Association of University Women (AAUW) at the University of Maryland, College Park.

The three-day conference June 2-4 included keynote speakers, personal development workshops, a Women of Distinction awards ceremony, career and graduate school fairs, and an evening to explore Washington, D.C., during which the Albion group met with area alumni for dinner, followed by visits to monuments and memorials.

Students attended workshops and pre-conference activities, including:

  • Women and Leadership: How to Take the World by Storm
  • Resilience: Cultivating Greater Mindfulness
  • Own the Room: Strategies, Tactics and Techniques for Inspired Public Speaking
  • It’s Our Vote: We Will Be Heard
  • Sexual Assault: Response Activism: Using Your Online Voice
  • Elect Her: Empowering YOU to Run
  • Brush Up on Your Military Herstory
  • Loving Your Body through Affirmations, Meditation and Belly Dance
  • The Art of Living Boldly: A Tool Kit for Taking Risks, Handling Fear and Building a Meaningful Life
  • Share Your Voice on Capitol Hill
  • Start Smart (Salary Negotiation): Get Ready to Ask for What You’re Worth

“As soon as the conference was recommended, I knew that this was a great opportunity especially because I was already a student affiliate of AAUW,” said Que Langston, ’18, of Cleveland, Ohio. “This was opening a door for me to learn more as a young woman, engage in topics that were hard and listen to what others have to say. This conference was uplifting, energetic and amazing.”

This is the first year Albion has participated in NCCWSL, which this year attracted 900 attendees from both the U.S. and abroad. Four Albion students received scholarships from AAUW (of 140 nationally) that covered registration costs.

Some of the remaining travel and registration costs were sponsored by the Office of Campus Programs and Organizations, the Gerald R. Ford Institute for Leadership in Public Policy and Service, and the Albion branch of AAUW.

“I decided to attend NCCWSL because it seemed to be a great opportunity to meet new people and learn more about ways to improve our community and ourselves,” said Andrea Sanchez, ’19, of Waterford, Michigan, and who, like Langston, was a national scholarship recipient. “It really turned out to be an amazing experience full of motivation, laughter, fun and inspiration. While I was at NCCWSL, I was able to learn so much about myself through the speakers and the workshops. I’m considering being a lobbyist because of the pre-conference activity I attended at NCCWSL.”

“I came to NCCWSL with hopes that I would find out more about myself and possible career paths that I could take,” added Kendra Gembala, ’19, a scholarship recipient from Cedar Lake, Indiana. “I also wanted to create new relationships with people who have similar passions. During the conference I learned many things, like sometimes you have to take a risk and do things that make you uncomfortable so that you grow as a person. I also learned that I need to make my voice heard more often.”

The conference’s sponsor organization, American Association of University Women (AAUW), advocates for the advancement, empowerment and equity of women and girls, and has done so since its inception in 1881. Albion College students can become involved with AAUW as e-affiliates and through the AAUW Albion branch. Those who want to become involved and are interested in attending NCCWSL in 2017 can contact Amy Everhart, Ford Institute coordinator, at [email protected]. Everhart is the upcoming Albion branch president and AAUW of Michigan college/university director.