Four students will be sharing their leadership skills at a conference at the Collegio Porta Nevia in Rome. Priti Rao '08, Ari Chadwick-Saund '08, Carolyn Strobel '09, and Judith Frank '10 will travel to Rome for the event May 30 with Beth Gibney Boulden, associate director of student programs. According to Gibney Boulden, they were selected to facilitate the conference based on their leadership experiences, their teaching and communication skills, cultural exchange experience, and their representation of the diverse talents and backgrounds of the College's student body.
The conference grew out of the Women's Education Worldwide Program launched by MHC President Joanne V. Creighton and Smith College President Carol Christ at a conference in summer 2004 sponsored by the two colleges. According to Gibney Boulden, the president of Dubai Women's College (DWC) attended the 2004 conference and subsequently invited Mount Holyoke students to facilitate a leadership conference at DWC in January 2005. That event triggered the invitation to Mount Holyoke to conduct the leadership conference in Rome. "The Dubai trip was very successful, so we have high hopes that this cross-cultural exchange will be life enhancing for all of the participants," Gibney Boulden said.
(From left: Beth Gibney Boulden, Priti Rao '08, Carolyn Strobel '09, Ari Chadwick-Saund '08, Judith Frank '10)
Gibney Boulden and the students will lead workshops on a variety of topics, including leadership styles and conflict and collaboration. "We are not going with the idea that we know all about leadership, but rather in the spirit of sharing what we know in hopes that they can benefit. I think we'll learn as much as the Italian students will from the experience," Gibney Boulden said.
Participant Priti Rao said, "We are mixing up and sharing the presentations based on our different backgrounds and leadership experiences." Rao will work mainly on public presentation skills, but will also join in the more general topic of "what leadership means and what we can do in our own lives to be effective women leaders."
The group will spend a couple of extra days after the conference touring Rome.