The “From Challenge to Change: Leading the Next Generation of Women for Change in a Global Economy” seminar was a great experience! It was amazing to hear from women in positions of leadership, who, in some cases, have been the first of their gender in the field.

Some key takeaways that I got from this were that to be successful in any endeavor, not only in the academic field, you must not be afraid to pursue your goals, and that having a mentor to guide you is a very important step towards success.

Dr. Muriel Howard, who has been a leader and mentor to many of the panel participants, insists that women should not be afraid to seize opportunity. As someone who struggles with any form of change, this statement felt personally directed.

Seizing the moment sounds easy, but like many people, I find stepping up and stepping forward to be a daunting task, but she asks us not to wait for someone to tell us to step forward, but instead for women to step up themselves.

This may feel like stepping into thin air, but that’s where the importance of having a mentor comes in. Dr. Laurie Carter, our president at Shippensburg University, ended with these words: “We’re standing on someone’s shoulders. We have to stand tall, so that someone can stand on ours.”

If we never take that first step, then in the future we may not be in the right position to lift someone else up. The glass ceiling cannot be shattered with one woman jumping to try and reach it, we need many, lifting each other up and standing on each other’s shoulders to shatter it.

What most encouraged me about this seminar was that everything felt open and inclusive and the audience was encouraged to ask questions. I definitely feel that every female student should go to an event this month to hear other women speak on leadership and what it looks like.

I’m especially looking forward to the Alumni Lunch & Learn with Barrie Ann George on March 16 happening at noon and the Radical Self-love Workshop happening on the 18 at 3:30 p.m. And if all you want to do is hang out with a ton of amazing women and just have some fun, then don’t miss the movie night coming up on March 27. There are lots of events on campus happening this month for women.

Don’t let the opportunity pass!”

Ariana Tomb is a junior English major at Shippensburg University and a graduate of Central York High School. Check out more of Ariana’s work in this Luhr’s Performing Arts Center feature. 


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