Women from all walks of life will have the opportunity to join together for an entire day focused on them at the Kansas Women's Leadership Conference from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Friday, April 1, on the Fort Hays State University campus.
Two keynote speakers will highlight different paths to leadership. Dr. Bonnie Dow, associate professor and chair of the Communication Studies Department at Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tenn., will present "Performing Gender in Public: Women's Changing Modes of Political Leadership in the 21st Century."
Jackie Stiles, 10 years after leading the Missouri State University Bears to a Final Four appearance, has dedicated herself to educating the next generation of female leaders -- on and off the court. Retired from basketball, Stiles still holds the single-game point Kansas high school record, 71, which she achieved playing for Claflin.
Men from the FHSU Interfraternity Council will present "Walk a Mile in Her Shoes," in which they will share why they believe it is important to do just that. "Walk a Mile in Her Shoes" is an international men's march to stop rape, sexual assault and gender violence. Speakers will explain why it is important for men to stand up against domestic violence and sexual assault and will share the story of their 2011 march, which will take place at 6 p.m. the night before the conference. Participants will meet in Cody Commons in the lower level of the Memorial Union on the FHSU campus.
Many topics will also be discussed at the conference's break-out session. "Social Media 101," presented by Casey Kelch Rohleder, academic affairs marketing specialist at FHSU, will give participants an introduction to social media and networking.
Both employers and employees can learn from "Top to Bottom: Utilizing Servant Leadership in the Workplace," presented by LeAnn Brown, instructor of leadership studies at FHSU. Brown will discuss the need for authenticity, awareness, community, foresight and stewardship in the workplace.
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"Healthy Media Images for Girls -- A Women's Guide to Help!" will be presented by Chandra Daffer, community development manager for Girl Scouts of Kansas Heartland, and Linda Mills, director of membership and volunteer services for Girl Scouts of Kansas Heartland. They will address the rising concerns of how media portray women and girls and will discuss how to advocate this topic in local communities.
The FHSU Defensive Tactics Club and Kenton Russell, instructor of justice studies at FHSU, will present "There's No Excuse for No Defense," which will stress the importance of self-defense basics and teach both verbal and physical techniques.
"Speed of Change -- Women and Technology" will be presented by Tammy Wellbrock, executive director for the Hays Area Chamber of Commerce, who will discuss how to keep up in the digital era.
Marcella Marez, instructor of communication studies at FHSU, will discuss the key aspects of giving a public speech in "Public Speaking 101." She will highlight organization, nonverbals and visual aids.
"Women in Charge -- Effective Supervision," by Shana L. Warkentine Meyer, assistant vice president for Student Affairs at FHSU, will examine various supervisory styles and how to overcome barriers and stereotype challenges female supervisors may face.
The conference includes a service project. This year, participants are asked to donate new youth-based party supplies for the 20th anniversary of the Kansas Court Appointed Special Advocates. Donations will be given by CASA volunteeers to youths in foster care around Kansas. These supplies will help make these children's birthday parties more festive.
Suggested items include cake gift cards, pizza gift cards, cake mix, frosting, sprinkles, birthday candles, plates, napkins, cups, balloons, streamers, silly string, noise makers, birthday cards and anything else that could be used for a birthday party. An entire birthday party supply box has been priced at $35. Financial donations are also welcome.
The priority registration deadline for the conference is March 18. The cost is $99, which includes lunch. Partial student scholarships are available.
To register or for more information, go to www.kansaswomensleadership.org or call FHSU's Center for Civic Leadership at 785-628-5592 or the Women's Leadership Project at 785-628-4312.
For more information on Kansas CASA, go to www.kansascasa.org.