COLUMBUS, Miss. – The second annual Mississippi N.E.W. (National Education for Women) Leadership residential program is under way on the campus of Mississippi University for Women.
Twenty-two women from public, private and community colleges are at The W this week to experience a leadership program unlike any effort that has been seen in the state of Mississippi.
The participants, who were nominated by their institutions and selected by the program directors, have public policy at their fingertips with state, regional and national leaders who are educating them about ways they can become more involved in public service and the political process. The N.E.W. Leadership residential program runs through May 23.
In partnership with the John C. Stennis Center for Public Service, based in Starkville, Mississippi N.E.W. Leadership is a nonpartisan program designed to develop foundational leadership skills for college women who participate. The national program was developed by the Center for American Women and Politics at Rutgers University and now is at 17 universities nationwide.
Students selected for the program interact with four faculty-in-residence, as well as hear from women leaders who have excelled in a wide variety of public service roles within Mississippi. Sessions include exercises that encourage development of skills such as public speaking, conflict resolution, networking and advocacy.
This year’s faculty-in-residence include Nancy Bocskor, president of Arlington, Va. based The Nancy Bocskor Co.; Sally Burchfield Doty, an MUW alumna and current Mississippi state senator (District 39); Carole Leland, international leadership consultant and principal in Leadership Enterprises; and Kristie Metcalfe, W alumna and Mississippi Senate attorney.
On Tuesday, students heard a keynote address by the Honorable Sharion Aycock, Mississippi’s first woman United States District Court Judge, Northern District of Mississippi.
Participants also will hear from a slate of speakers, moderators and mentors. A trip to Jackson is planned for Thursday, where participants will tour the Capitol, have lunch with Mississippi Treasurer Lynne Fitch, and learn from two separate panel discussions, one made up of women who are legislative staff and the other of women who work in governmental relations. The Jackson day will end with a Networking reception at the Governor’s mansion.
Heading the program are Dr. Bridget Smith Pieschel, director of The W’s Center for Women’s Research and Public Policy; Dr. Kate Brown, director of The W’s Center for Creative Learning, and Brother Rogers, associate director of the Stennis Center for Public Service. All attended the Rutgers program in 2012 to witness its operation firsthand.
Dr. Bridget PieschelDirector
1100 College Street Columbus, MS 39701phone: 662.329.4750 or 877.462.8439