Saint Joseph’s University

Posted on August 1, 2011

Celebrating and Engaging Women at SJU

Newcombe scholars and St. Joseph’s staff and faculty meet with representatives of the Newcombe Foundation.

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.”

Newcombe Scholar Waltina White-BrownNewcombe Scholar Waltina White-Brown

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.

Judy Gallagher, Associate Dean
Judy Gallagher, Associate Dean

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.