Originally posted March 7, 2016.
BURLINGTON, VT – The Champlain College Women’s Empowerment Initiative has been a continuous conversation for Champlain students. This conversation has culminated in two Women’s Empowerment Symposiums, one in 2015 and one upcoming in 2016. The spring 2016 symposium is the design of many influential leaders on campus, one of those leader is Carin McCarthy, the Assistant Director of Graduate Admissions at Champlain. McCarthy chairs this initiative, surveying the thoughts and concerns of the diverse student body who have been extremely receptive to the project, “while I recognize that not everyone is able to come to be involved in the meetings week to week, we’ve had incredible support from across campus regardless of whether or not people could come to a meeting”.
The Women’s Empowerment Symposium, taking place Monday March 7, is pulling the mission of the Initiative to the front of campus, “the whole mission of this organization is to empower and build confidence and inspire people to dream, to make their dreams a reality.” McCarthy has been working with an incredible team of campus professionals to ensure that this event is valuable for all students. Provost Laurie Quinn, Leslie Averill – Vice President of Student Life and Mary Margaret Lee – Vice President of the People’s Center are all aiding in the implementation of this campus wide program.
According to McCarthy the goal of this symposium is, “[to] inspire people to get involved and [help] us to understand what the interest is on campus…my hope is that the symposium will inspire students and faculty to see how their studies and their work can reflect agency in gender issues or identity issues.”
The March 7th Symposium will begin at 2 pm in the Argosy gym with a panel titled “Empowering Experiences”. The panel will be moderated by Linda Tarr-Whelan, Former UN Ambassador and U.S. Presidential Advisor, UN Status of Women Commissioner. It will feature Rachel Arnold, the Co-Director of Girl Develop It, Diana Gonzales, the Winooski State Representative, Christine Hallquist, CEO of Vermont Electric Cooperative, and Kate Williams, the CEO of 1% of the Planet. The panel, breakout session, interactive resource fair, and community recognition is all leading up to the Keynote Speaker Moni Basu, a CNN Senior Journalist. McCarthy is very excited about Moni Basu saying, “She’s been an incredible reporter on lots of different issues that are important to the people here at champlain college.”
The beauty of this symposium and these speakers lies in the college bubble, McCarthy suggests that, “Sometimes in college it’s easy to live in a bubble, to go to class day to day and maybe to forget how we are connected to broader global issues…we can have this incredible speaker who has presented on domestic and foreign affairs and bring those ideas and tie them to what we are studying or doing here on the college campus.”
“Sometimes in college it’s easy to live in a bubble…and maybe to forget how we are connected to broader global issues” – Carin McCarthy
They are in support of other campus organizations and projects that continue to draw students to social causes and McCarthy is grateful for the Champlain Community effort that is making this Symposium possible.