The Women’s Leadership Academy is an annual training on principles of feminist leadership. It’s an exciting opportunity to learn about collaborative leadership and an opportunity to get to know fellow UTC students.
“We heard from notable women in the community like Kim White, CEO of River City Company, Shelley Prevost, co-founder of The Jump Fund [an angel fund that invests in female-led startups with high growth potential] and Brittney King, a counselor in UTC’s Counseling and Personal Development Center,” Quintanilla said.
When the fall 2014 cohort gathered in small groups, representatives from Women Investing in Student Empowerment (WISE) led the discussion. Quintanilla’s leader was Emily Wagner, the Chair of Violence Against Women.
“Emily, and everyone else in my group for that matter, truly inspired me with their stories of what motivates them to make change in the world. The biggest take away for me was the self-care exercise we did; I never realized the importance of keeping yourself healthy, both mentally and physically, in order to be the most effective leader,” Quintanilla explained.
Women’s Leadership Academy has a list of expectations for those who attend. The academy asks the students to respect and support all participants; actively engage and connect with other female leaders; actively and respectfully participate in all programs and events; not to use electronics except in an emergency or on breaks; respect the personal space and boundaries of other participants; engage in respectful conduct and language; apply civility when viewpoints, different from their own, are brought forward; and to be flexible, knowing that events may exceed time limits.
“The University offers the Women’s Leadership Academy to help students better understand the values and ethics that drive them to be socially responsible leaders,” said Cassandra Nice, Assistant Director of the UTC Women’s Center. “UTC hosts several leadership opportunities for students, but we find year after year that women really value the space we carve out in this experience. Our program always has a focus on leadership as a means to create positive social change and emphasizes the importance of self-care and consciousness as one develops as a leader. We were able to invite 32 students, our largest cohort yet, to this experience this year thanks in large part to co-sponsorship with the Dean of Students office.”