E&H Sends Students to Women’s Leadership Development Summit

Posted by Jeffrey Cowart
Organized by the Virginia Foundation for Independent Colleges, “Starting Now” prepares female undergraduates at VFIC Schools for leadership roles in personal, professional ventures. Six E&H students applied and were chosen to attend.

On November 7-9, 2019, the Virginia Foundation for Independent Colleges (VFIC) hosted a three-day summit on women and leadership at the Omni Hotel in Richmond, Va. Led by women from business, higher education and public service agencies, “Starting Now: Women’s Leadership Development Summit for VFIC Students” provided women and leaders of all ages, backgrounds and professions the opportunity to practice what some refer to as the socialization of leadership – sharing ideas, developing strategies, encouraging growth, and instilling confidence. 

More than seventy women from fourteen of their colleges – all juniors and seniors – were selected to attend the summit. Participants selected to attend from Emory & Henry College included Amber Blevins, Landie Maness, Maggie Meade, Caroline Mosteller, Neha Rai and Liberty Sheppard. “Emory & Henry was proud to send these bright and talented young women to the summit,” said Amanda Gardner, director of career services. “Events like this are so important for the development of women leadership. These women applied for the chance to attend the summit, and the fact that they were chosen proves they have what it takes to make a positive impact on the world.”  

Top row to bottom row: Amber Blevins, Caroline Mosteller, Liberty Sheppard, Landie Maness, Neha R...Top row to bottom row: Amber Blevins, Caroline Mosteller, Liberty Sheppard, Landie Maness, Neha Rai, Maggie MeadeDuring the three-day conference, the students participated in a variety of forums, discussions and workshops. #MeToo: The Responsibilities of Leaders to Prevent Workplace Harassment, How to Network, Mindfulness: Tools for Personal Wellness and Professional Success, and Women to Women: Empowering Your Career are a few of the sessions on the conference itinerary. In addition to taking part in workshops and listening to presentations, participants toured the State Capitol and the newly dedicated Virginia Women’s Monument, as well as the corporate offices of Dominion Energy and Altria. 

“Our program will not only shape how women view leadership, but it will have a positive impact on each participant’s self-perception as a leader,” says Matt Shank, president of the VFIC. “By creating a forum for discussing the issue of women and leadership and encouraging them to develop strategies for effecting change, we can help prepare the women who attend our schools for leadership roles. We can also nurture the confidence they need to embrace the opportunity to lead.” 

 About the Virginia Foundation for Independent Colleges: Established in 1952, the Virginia Foundation for Independent Colleges (VFIC) aims to advance the distinctive values and strengths of the fifteen colleges across Virginia that make up their consortium. They accomplish this mission by generating financial support for our schools – more than $160 million since their inception. Leveraging those resources, they establish and administer a range of programs that help their schools attract the best and brightest, create a vibrant and rigorous educational experience, prepare students for a fulfilling career, and cultivate responsible leaders for the communities they call home. 

  • L to R: Maggie Meade, Landie Maness, Neha Rai, Caroline Mosteller, Liberty Sheppard, Amber Blevins
    L to R: Maggie Meade, Landie Maness, Neha Rai, Caroline Mosteller, Liberty Sheppard, Amber Blevins
Events like this are so important for the development of women leadership. These women applied for the chance to attend the summit, and the fact that they were chosen proves they have what it takes to make a positive impact on the world.
-Amanda Gardner

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