Women & Leadership Program

Program Description & Goals

The Women and Leadership Program is designed to provide an opportunity for SUNY Potsdam students to explore, discuss and reflect on a wide variety of topics and issues related to women and leadership at SUNY Potsdam and beyond.  A special feature of this program is the opportunity for students to network with, and be mentored by, a successful female alumna.  The program includes two components.

  1. Workshop Series: During the Fall 2013 semester, 5 workshops, open to all students, will be presented by outstanding women from SUNY Potsdam’s faculty and staff.  Students who attend all 5 workshops will earn a certificate of completion and be recognized at a reception at the end of the semester.  The goal of the workshop series is to explore a wide variety of topics and issues related to women as leaders at SUNY Potsdam and beyond.
  2. Women & Leadership Alumnae Mentoring Program: Female students who attend all 5 of the workshops offered during the Fall semester will have the exciting opportunity to be mentored by a SUNY Potsdam alumna in their career field for the Spring 2014 semester.  Mentors will provide students invaluable insights and advice on how to achieve success personally and professionally in the future.  In addition to on-going contact with their Mentors, student participants will meet three times as group with the Director of Campus Life to share personal reflections and gain insights on how to maximize their experience within the program.  There will be a reception at the conclusion of the semester where students and alumnae Mentors (if they are available) will gather to celebrate and share their experiences. On-line networking opportunities for all participants will also be facilitated through a special LinkedIn group.

Women and Leadership Workshops Series, Fall 2013

All workshops will take place on Thursdays at 7pm in the Knowles MPR, 1st floor 


9/5: Leadership Styles Exploration for Women as Leaders - Gena Nelson, Counseling Center:  Participants will complete a leadership style inventory tool.  A discussion about personal leadership styles and self-exploration with a focus on women as leaders will follow.

9/19: Gender Role Stereotypes & Leadership - Louise Tyo ’00, Student & Family Transitions: This workshop will help participants explore the impact of gender role stereotypes and leadership in society and how these stereotypes impact both men and women.

10/3: Women & Success: A Panel Discussion - Kim Bouchard (moderator), Theatre & Dance; Christina Knopf, English & Communication; Susan Stebbins, Anthropology; Jennifer G. Flint ’01, University Police; Arlene Stillwell, Psychology; Deb Dudley, Public Affairs; and Sheila Marshall, Center for Diversity:  This session will bring together a panel of successful women on the SUNY Potsdam faculty/staff who will share personal stories about their career paths to include obstacles they may have faced and overcome as women.  They will also offer insights on what they believe has helped them to be successful.  The panel will conclude with an open forum Q & A to engage participants in discussion.

10/17: Women in the Work Force: Is There a Glass Ceiling? -  Liliana Trevizan, Modern Languages & Susanne Zwingel, Politics: This workshop will examine this question and offer research/statistics to guide the discussion.  Participants will receive tips on personal advocacy topics such as salary negotiation and requesting a promotion.

10/24: Women at Work: Practical, Everyday Advice & Tips for Success
- Erin Wilson ’05, (moderator) Career Planning; Carol Rossi-Fries, Education; Carol Rourke ’81, President’s Office & Becky Gerber, Crane: This session will offer women practical insights for success in today’s work world with a panel comprised of women representing careers in Education, Music and the general business world.   Topics such as interview and resume do’s and don’ts, balancing family and career, and pitfalls to avoid in the work place will be covered.

Alumnae Mentoring Program for Female Students, Spring 2014

Female students, who attend all 5 of the workshops offered in the Fall, will have the opportunity to be paired with a SUNY Potsdam alumna in their career field for the Spring 2014 semester.   During the Fall semester, each student will complete an information sheet and have an individual meeting with the Director of Campus Life to discuss their career interests.  This information will better allow the program to find an appropriate Mentor for each student.

Throughout the semester, students and Mentors will be encouraged to communicate regularly through mutually agreed upon methods, which can include electronic media, phone, and/or face-to-face interaction, if possible.  The program will also provide a special LinkedIn site to facilitate communication for all program participants as a larger group.

Students will be expected to attend three, one-hour group meetings with the Director of Campus Life throughout the semester as outlined below:

  1. First Meeting: Explain program goals, offer insights and advice on how students can get the most from the program (Guest Speaker: Toby White ’89, Director of Experiential Education).
  2. Second Meeting: Provide an opportunity for participants to share and reflect upon their experiences.
  3. Third Meeting: Participants will provide final reflections and offer feedback on how to continue to improve the program for the future.

Note: Meetings will be scheduled late in Fall 2013 once student academic schedules for Spring 2014 are set.

In addition, students will attend a final reception (date/time TBA) along with their alumnae Mentors (if available) at the close of the semester. 

How to Participate

Students: Students wishing to participate should plan to attend all of the Fall 2013 workshops (see schedule on front).  The Director of Campus Life will schedule individual meetings in November with program participants that attended all of the Fall workshops to find an appropriate Mentor for each student.

Alumnae Mentors: Alumnae who wish to participate may contact Ruth Policella or Mona Ouimet Vroman ’85 – see contact information below.

For More Information Please Contact:

Ruth Policella, Director of Campus Life, Student Union 208, (315) 267-2818, policera@potsdam.edu

Mona Ouimet Vroman ‘85, Director of Alumni Relations, Raymond 618, (315) 267-3172, vromanmo@potsdam.edu