Leadership conference empowers women

Jessica Phillips

Volunteer Reporter


The eighth annual Women’s Leadership Conference was held on March 28 to provide women with resources for leadership and encouragement to be mentally healthy.

The conference began with the reading of a proclamation by President Jeanie Webb, the first female president of RSC. The first speaker of the day was hypnotherapist Nancy Reno.


The conference presented attendants the opportunity to participate in two 40-minute long workshops. Each workshop focused on ensuring mental health by introducing techniques to handle depression and stress, to succeed as women, and how to say “no” when necessary.

The workshops were “Healthy Brain, Healthy Mind” led by Maggie Darcey; “In Case of Emergency, Secure Your Own Oxygen Mask Before Helping Others” led by Rae Wilson; “Welcome to the Danger Zone” led by Tara Hall and Lisa DiDonato; and “When Enough is Enough: Drawing a Line in the Sand” led by Sherry Alexander.

Nurses Valerie Gauthie and Chiquita Frazier attended “Danger Zone” and “Enough is Enough.” Frazier said she “really enjoyed” the workshop.

Gauthie said that Webb “was a very good speaker” and that empowering women through the conference is great.


Participants in workshops at the Women’s Leadership Conference enjoy lunch after their sessions conclude on March 28 in the PTEC Building at RSC. The conference focused on women’s mental health and featured four workshops to help women cope with life’s stresses. Photo by Jessica Phillips

RSC Alumnae

Val Seward graduated from RSC with an associate degree in Enterprise Management. She completed her degree through Reach Higher and was the spokeswoman for the program from 2010 to 2012.

Seward said she came to the conference “because it always has so much valuable information.”

Seward is involved in women’s studies at the University of Oklahoma and will graduate in December.

“It’s been a real positive experience,” Seward said.

Women’s Leadership Initiative Scholarship

For the third consecutive year, the Women’s Leadership Initiative Scholarship was awarded at the conference.

Each year, about four to eight female students apply for the scholarship. One applicant was awarded a 12-hour tuition waiver for the fall and spring semesters.  The second place applicant received an iPad Mini and the third place applicant received a book bag filled with books.

This year’s scholarship was awarded to Shelbi Warner.

Each applicant submitted a 1,000-word essay and 10-slide PowerPoint Presentation. Entries were uploaded to D2L for viewing. Six judges selected the scholarship recipient.


N.E.W Leadership at OU

The National Education for Women’s Leadership holds a weeklong workshop to allow undergraduate women the opportunity to participate in politics and public matters.  The workshop is held once a year on the OU campus.

“Women are one half of the population and we need to have a bigger voice,” Director of Women’s Studies Michelle Brockmeier said.  “We’re all making little changes and little changes become big changes.”

Each year for the past seven years one student from RSC has been selected to attend the N.E.W Leadership.



Local exhibitors were present at the conference to provide attendants with valuable information about services available in the Mid-Del area and at RSC.

Representatives were from the Oklahoma Department of Mental Health Services and Substance Abuse Services, Mid-Del Early Birds, the Wellness Center, the LRC and other local services.


Conference exhibitors provide information to conference attendees regarding topics such as physical and mental health as well as substance abuse. The 2015 conference is set for March 27. Photo by Jessica Phillips


Volunteer Opportunities

Brockmeier welcomes volunteers to the women’s studies program.  Planning for domestic violence month in October and for next year’s conference already is underway.

“We would love to have volunteers,” Brockmeier said.

Volunteers can also assist at Women’s Leaderships Conferences.  Next year’s conference is set for March 27; “Women as Activists” will be the conference theme.

Brockmeier said the conference gave the participants positivity to carry with them and embrace the future.

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