The American Association of University Women (AAUW) is a non-profit organization that promotes equity and education for women and girls. Thanks to a collaboration between the Women’s Center and the College of Business, Analytics and Communication, five MSUM students had the opportunity to attend their National Conference for College Women Student Leaders (NCCWSL) virtually earlier this spring.
NCCWSL is a national conference focused on developing women student leaders, though students of any gender may register and attend. Students spend their time at the conference networking, learning about different topics and enhancing their leadership skills.
Each student had their own reasons for choosing to participate.
Hannah Wiersma, a junior majoring in biology (health and medical sciences) says, “I was motivated to attend NCCWSL this May to help speak up against gender equality and gain the confidence to do so and then to help lead, inspire and empower others in our community to do the same.”
The skills that are taught during this conference are important because they can be applied to everyday life.
“I was an RA this past school year and programming and planning events with my residents was a huge part of my job, so I worked with the Women’s Center quite a bit and I thought it would be a great opportunity to not only encourage myself but also my residents to attend a conference that was so focused on empowering women within our demographic,” says Emma Frauendienst, a senior majoring in anthropology.
Those that attended the conference came out of the event with many takeaways.
Shrijana Chapagain, who is majoring in accounting and finance, says, “this taught me something about being empowered and how I can empower other women as well as other students.”
A wide range of topics including finances, career development and mentorship were discussed during the different sections of the conference.
“My most important takeaway from the conference was how important money is, how important it is to talk about money and how important savings and emergency funds are,” says Kathlyn Awuya, a sophomore majoring in English and biology (health and medical sciences).
The conference participants found this to be an inspiring and empowering learning opportunity that helped them grow.
Alicia Nelson, a junior majoring in social work, enjoyed the opportunity to listen to the empowering messages speakers shared.
“I think anytime you get to hear from really amazing women, especially leaders like New York Times best sellers and award-winning journalists, it humanizes achievements and makes you realize that you could do that,” says Alicia Nelson. “I would recommend other students attend NCCWSL next year because it’s a really great opportunity to learn how to take care of yourself when you’re doing leadership and how to make sure your connections are meaningful.”
Thanks to the University Partnership MSUM has with AAUW National, all MSUM students are eligible for e-affiliate memberships. There is an AAUW FM chapter students can join and an on-campus chapter at MSUM is in the works.
“This has empowered me. I have learned so much,” says Shrijana.
Visit aauw.org to learn more about NCCWSL and how you can get involved with AAUW on campus.
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