Four Garrett College students recently participated in a national leadership conference sponsored by the American Association of University Women.
GC students Kalynn Eyler, Shermani “Jorhden” Kelsick, Mariah Long and Angela Lowry attended AAUW’s National Conference for College Women Student Leaders (NCCWSL) held at the University of Maryland, College Park May 30th to June 2nd. The opportunity to attend NCCWSL was the result of Garrett College forming a new student chapter of AAUW in collaboration with the Garrett County branch of AAUW during the 2017-2018 academic year.
NCCWSL strives to assist women in closing the leadership gap and making an impact on their college campuses and in their communities by providing participants with the opportunity to be inspired by featured speakers, build real-world skills at workshops, connect with graduate programs and employers, discuss and debate today’s issues during panel and lecture seminars, and network with peers across the country and around the world to build lifelong relationships. The focus of the NCCWSL workshops and lectures is professional and leadership development to include activism with respect to women’s issues and valuing diversity (www.nccwsl.org).
The four students that represented Garrett’s student chapter of AAUW are especially grateful to those organizations that made this experience financially possible: AAUW National, GFWC Civic Club of Oakland and AAUW-Garrett Branch. They all agree that attending NCCWSL was empowering, inspiring and life-changing.
“By attending many ethnically diverse panels and workshops, I learned more about issues that affect all women, as well as issues that only affect certain minorities. With this, I now know how to use my privilege to pass the mic and give women of color a stronger voice in our fight for equity,” stated Lowry.
Long maintained that NCCWSL “was the greatest learning experience that I have ever been offered. I learned to defend myself in an Empowered Self Defense Workshop, how to build my own nonprofit, and met some fantastic women from all over the world. I would absolutely attend this conference again.”
Kelsick liked how presenters gave advice on starting a non-profit organization and helped inspire and prepare them for a career in law or engineering.
Eyler declared, “NCCWSL provided such an amazing opportunity to network with women who have made a huge impact on our journey toward social justice and equity. Connecting with these women gave me hope and a sense of accountability. I now can and will turn my thoughts and ideas into action. The variety of panels and workshops provided me with not only information, but tools. There was not one moment at NCCWSL that I wasn’t feeling moved and empowered.”
“Thanks to NCCWSL, I am eager to ‘challenge myself, inspire others, and create impact.’ I am ready to take action,” vowed Eyler.
Dr. Terry Lynn Kasecamp, Professor of Psychology and AAUW student chapter advisor, was thrilled that four of Garrett’s students took advantage of this opportunity to continue developing their leadership skills and learn more about how to use activism to facilitate change with respect to the issues that they care about.
“Given that all four of these students were highly engaged in raising awareness about women’s issues and valuing diversity before they attended NCCWSL, there is no doubt in my mind that this empowering experience will have a profound ‘ripple effect’ on others as these incredible young people continue to pursue their aspirations,” said Dr. Kasecamp.
Advisor Kim DeGiovanni was excited to hear that GC students came home empowered. “I can’t wait to see what they will do with what they have learned at NCCWSL,” said DeGiovanni.
AAUW-Garrett Branch President Judy Carbone is delighted that four student chapter members attended NCCWSL.
“This will have a significant impact on their personal and professional development and bring new leadership energy to campus student life,” said Carbone. “This is something that we at the Branch have been hoping to see for many years.”
“Most of all, we are so proud of all members involved in the chapter and all they have done to bring attention to women’s equity on campus. It has been a joy to watch each of the student members grow and develop under the guidance of two strong, capable women role models in Dr. Terry Kasecamp and Kim DeGiovanni, their advisors, and each find their own strong, capable voice,” added Carbone. “The AAUW-Garrett Branch members are grateful to Garrett College for seeing the potential in an affiliation with AAUW and commit to continuing our support for the Student Chapter.”
Dr. Richard Midcap, Garrett College’s president, said the students, their advisors and the AAUW-Garrett Branch leadership all deserve congratulations for their commitment to the ideals of the AAUW.
“Ensuring campus-based equity is an important endeavor,” said Midcap. “I appreciate the commitment our student leaders, faculty and staff advisors, and AAUW-Garrett Branch members have made to work toward this goal. I’m proud for Garrett College to have a voice in such a timely and necessary discussion.”
If you are an incoming or returning student at Garrett College, male or female, interested in women’s equity and would like to become a member of AAUW-Garrett College Student Chapter, please contact Terry Kasecamp (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Kim DeGiovanni (email@example.com) for more information. Anyone else is invited to join the AAUW-Garrett Branch and can contact Judy Carbone at firstname.lastname@example.org or 301-616-5036.