Elect Her–Campus Women Win is the only program in the country that encourages and trains college women to run for student government and future political office. Elect Her is a collaboration between the American Association of University Women (AAUW) and Running Start. It addresses the need to encourage women to run for office and to diminish the longstanding political leadership gender gap.
Of the 50 campuses to host Elect Her sessions in 2015, The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga is the only school in the state of Tennessee to have the Elect Her program grant, now in its third consecutive year. This year students will hear from Judge Christie Sell, Melissa Richmond, the Vice President of Running Start, and Nicole Brown, academic advisor and adjunct professor in the UTC Communication Department
Additionally, students will practice hands-on campaign skills and discuss research on women in government. This year’s training will be Saturday, February 28th, beginning 10:30 a.m. and ending at 3:30 p.m. The Meet N’ Greet will be Tuesday, February 24th, at 8:30 p.m. and the graduation will be Tuesday, April 7th, at 8:30 p.m.
Who can apply?
Any student who identifies as female may apply for the program. Previous leadership experience is not necessary nor is the desire to run for political office. Apply today and log in with your MyMocsNet account. Or apply online on the Women’s Center site. Applications are due February 13 at 5 p.m.
Learn more about the speakers
Judge Christie Sell is respected for her commitment to the community and the bench, as well as for her fairness and firmness. She has served nine years in General Sessions Court in Hamilton County. She has received a statewide leadership award for her work for domestic violence awareness and numerous other awards, including recognition for her integrity and distinguished service as an elected Fellow by both the Chattanooga and Tennessee Bar Associations.
A lifelong resident of Chattanooga, Judge Sell has always been very active in her community. Recently, she received recognition for her service as a Woman of Distinction by the American Lung Association. She is a member of several service clubs, including the Rotary Club of Chattanooga and she serves on numerous boards, including the Chattanooga Women’s Leadership Institute.
Melissa Richmond is the Vice President of Running Start. She benefitted from programs that develop female leadership, like Girl Scouts, where she earned her Gold Award, National Charity League, which she participated in with her mother.
Richmond continued to receive valuable political and leadership training throughout high school, college, and law school. She was elected to and served in a number of positions in student government, yearbook, local government, a model court and legislature, Model United Nations, Debate Team, College Republicans, Reagan Ranch Leadership Academy, Federalist Society, and Mock Trial.
Richmond also worked for Governor Mitt Romney in a variety of capacities over the years, starting at age sixteen, as an Intern for the Deputy Chiefs of Staff, and later for the Director of Operations, in the Office of the Governor of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. She served as Assistant to the Finance Director of the Commonwealth PAC then as Assistant to the National Finance Director & Senior Advisor at Romney for President in 2008. She was a fundraiser at the Restore Our Future PAC and later the Director of Donor Relations and then the Deputy Director of Internal Operations at Romney for President in 2012.
Richmond was a political science major at Brigham Young University and graduated from The George Washington University Law School. She is currently a member of the Junior League of Northern Virginia, BYU Management Society, The National Society of Daughters of Founders and Patriots of America, Daughters of Utah Pioneers, the J. Reuben Clark Law Society, the National Rifle Association, the Young Nonprofit Professionals Network, and is a prospective member of Daughters of the American Revolution. She lives in Arlington, Virginia.
Nicole Brown is a native of Chattanooga. She received her B.S. degree from Middle Tennessee State University in Mass Communications: Radio/TV and her Master’s degree in Public Administration from The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga (UTC). She currently works for UTC as the academic advisor and adjunct professor in the Communication Department. In 2014, she served as the co-executive producer of the documentary 9 United for Equality: Reflections on the Struggle for Civil Rights in Chattanooga. In 2009, Brown created The Perch (UTC’s student run, web-based radio station). She has worked at UTC for 19 years in the Bursars Office, Disbursements, Human Resources and the Office of Equity and Diversity.
Brown is known in the city for her work as a professional broadcaster with Brewer Media Group. With over 15 years as on-air personality Khole Brown, she enjoyed entertaining and informing listeners for WJTT-Power 94, WMPZ-Groove 93 and WMPZ-Z93.
Brown currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Chattanooga Choral Society for the Preservation of African-American Song, Partnership for Families, Children and Adults, Inc. and United Way Corporate Volunteer Council. She also served on the Chattanooga Women’s Leadership Institute board of directors from 2011- December 2014. In 2012, Brown graduated from Leadership Chattanooga through the Chattanooga Area Chamber of Commerce. She enjoys sharing her knowledge with others. In 2014, she was a co- presenter at the 27th Annual National Conference on Race & Ethnicity in American Higher Education (NCORE) in Indianapolis.