NHWHEL Spring Conference on the Rindge Campus

Apr 27, 2018

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On Friday, April 13, President Kim Mooney welcomed nearly 150 women to the Rindge campus for the New Hampshire Women in Higher Education Leadership (NHWHEL) Spring Conference. After an initial “icebreaker” networking exercise, the attendees broke into one of four information sessions: “Women in Leadership: Professional and Personal Balance in Higher Education”, “Navigating Institutions of Higher Education as a Woman of Color”, “Change? We’ve Always Done it this Way!” or “Mentoring: Mentors for Leaders, Time Commitments, and Reverse Mentoring.”

After lunch, Franklin Pierce University’s Professor of English Dr. Donna Decker delivered the keynote address entitled, “Cover me…I’m Going In!” Her speech focused on women and their struggle to find a voice in their profession. Dr. Decker said, “I was happy to do it, so very honored to be asked to speak to this amazing group of women, and also excited for them to be at Franklin Pierce so they are able to see how beautiful our campus is.” After the address, Caitlin Glennen, of SNHU echoed the sentiments in the room, “It was inspiring, I liked the way she used humor, and to be as strong of a woman as you can be, sometimes you just need to speak up. I took the most of the speaking up and taking up the space to be heard.”

The afternoon saw two panel discussions: “Advancing to the Presidency,” and “Advancing to Director.” The former focused on being a female president in higher education. The panel participants were university presidents, Dr. Kim Mooney (FPU), Dr. Susan Huard (Manchester Comm. Coll.), Dr. Susan Stuebner (Colby-Sawyer College), and interim president Dr. Larissa Baia (Lakes Region Comm. Coll.). The latter focused on the promotion to a director position. This panel  featured; Nicole Horne Senior Director of Advising & Student Engagement at Granite State College, Linda Richelson Director of the Academic Center at Keene River Valley Community College, Marcia Schmidt Blaine Executive Director of Government Relations, Plymouth State University and Anna Miner Vice President for Admissions and Financial Aid (former director), Colby-Sawyer
College. Both panel groups discussed a multitude of topics ranging from hardships, rewards, difficulties, and generously shared their ascent to their respective positions. Both panels touched on the disparity between men and women with leadership roles in higher education.

The event closed with an in-depth networking session where attendees got to know on- another and share their own experiences. “It was truly an amazing day to witness a diverse group of women come together from all different parts of the state, at different career levels, and with different lived experiences…it was awesome!”, said Jennifer Durant of Southern New Hampshire University.

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