Celebrating and Engaging Women at SJU
- Saint Joseph's University
Since 2008, Saint Joseph's University and the Charlotte W. Newcombe Foundation have partnered to make the college dreams of more than forty women become a reality through the Newcombe Foundation Scholarship program that has had a transformational impact on its recipients. Funded with donations from the Foundation in addition to individual donors who contribute to the Newcombe Challenge, the partnership represents a shared commitment to encourage non-traditional female students to continue their education in pursuit of a college degree.
The Newcombe Foundation Scholarship holds a critcially important place in the lives of those women who choose to continue their education at Saint Joseph's University. One such student is Waltina White-Brown, who recently graduated from SJU with a degree in Professional and Liberal Studies. "I am a mother, a wife, and I work full-time. Last year, my financial aid ran out and I needed to take a summer course," says Brown. "I met with Liz Woodward [Director of Admissions for the College of Professional and Liberal Studies] who encouraged me to apply for the Newcombe scholarship. When I received the scholarship and was able to take my class, it gave me the push I needed."
The College of Professional and Liberal Studies (PLS) is home to more than 750 adult undergraduate students; many are women with jobs and families. The curriculum is built around the ever-changing educational and professional needs of adult students with the majority of courses being held during evenings and weekends. PLS currently offers a wide range of programs for its students who have the option of working toward a certificate of proficiency, an associate or a bachelor's degree. Programs are also offered for life-long learners and those interested in professional development courses to advance their careers.
Like many non-traditional students at the University, many women find themselves juggling home life, a career, and schoolwork on a daily basis. Judy Gallagher, PLS Associate Dean and a graduate of the SJU Evening College (renamed as the College of Professional and Liberal Studies) says that the goals of the Newcombe Scholarship program are closely aligned with the mission of the university. "One of the hallmarks of a Jesuit education is 'the magis,' which means seeking the better or more in our lives. Our non-traditional students have given witness to this ideal by the very nature of their decision to continue their education. They continue to strive for more in their lives, their families, their workplace, and their communities," says Gallagher.
SJU's Women's Leadership Council
SJU, through the Women's Leadership Council (WLC), created the Newcombe Challenge to represent SJU's commitment to match the Newcombe Foundation's support. The Newcombe Challenge has become one of the primary fundraising priorities for the WLC. The WLC was established in 2008 to provide advice, mentorship, and hands-on programming for current female students and women alumnae. The Council meets three times annually and hosts a number of events designed to improve opportunities for women on campus and in the community. The WLC is comprised of a number of loyal Saint Joseph's alumnae and parents who have experienced tremendous success in their own career fields and who strive to encourage and mentor female students as they work toward their degrees.
The Women's Leadership Council created a signature event titled "How To Get A Job and Keep It" to help prepare women for workplace-related issues and to offer resources for success. The program is designed as a "speed network" event that enables students to visit five stations with a presentation at each station focusing on a topic relevant to understanding the workplace and job market. The Council has addressed topics such as networking, business etiquette, generational gaps in the workplace, accepting a job, and office culture. This event format offers the women on the Council meaningful engagement with women students and serves as the foundation for a number of mentoring, scholarship, and career opportunities for women students.
Building upon its rich tradition of teaching students to become "men and women with and for others," Saint Joseph's launched a celebration last year to recognize forty years of co-education in the undergraduate program. As part of SJU's celebration of women, SJU's Erivan K. Haub School of Business and the Women's Leadership Council partnered to create the Spirit of Women lecture series. This program highlighted the achievements of the remarkable female students and alumnae of Saint Joseph's through a series of lectures and presentations by prominent and successful female alumnae. Topics included "Approaching Business Decisions with Confidence" and "Venture Capital and Networking Opportunities for Women."
Celebrating the women of Saint Joseph's
On October 2, 2011 the WLC and Saint Joseph's will host SheUnited: Celebrating the Women of Saint Joseph's University. This event will serve as a forum to engage and unite all women in SJU's community students, prospective students, faculty, staff, alumni, parents and spouses of alumni. SheUnited will provide a forum for women to network, to learn and be inspired by the successes of SJU alumnae, to meet and mentor students, and to explore the variety of ways that women can become involved with the university. A portion of the ticket price will support the Newcombe Challenge.
Women will be invited to participate in breakout sessions on topics such as Women in Business and Entrepreneurship, Women in Service and Civic Leadership, Women in Healthcare, Women in Education, Women in Athletics, and Women in Science. The panelists scheduled are women from the Saint Joseph's community who represent the past four decades and who enjoy a high level of success in their respective fields. Some of our notable panelists include Sister Mary Scullion '76, Founder of Project Home, Rosemarie Greco '75, the first woman CEO in US banking, and Renee Hykel '01, a US Olympian. Saint Joseph's University faculty members will serve as moderators for the various panels.
SheUnited will conclude with a Student Achievement Fair where current Saint Joseph's women students will have opportunities to showcase campus life through highlighting academic research, community service, and award winning projects. This portion of the event will allow women to share in campus life today while serving assisting in the recruitment of future women students at Saint Joseph's.
SheUnited will be a day of conversation, inspiration and celebration of all women in Saint Joseph's community.
Saint Joseph's University is a proud and grateful partner with the Newcombe Foundation and is committed to developing creative strategies to help support the scholarship program. For more information on any of the Saint Joseph's programs described in this article, contact Georgette Macbeth at (610) 660-3286 or firstname.lastname@example.org.