Sarah Chadwell is one of 30 women accepted into the NEW Leadership Ohio program.
Photo courtesy of: Sarah Chadwell
May 28, 2014
By Erica Molfetto
Less than a month ago, Sarah Chadwell was one of more than 4,000 graduates participating in Commencement exercises on Ohio University’s Athens Campus. Today, she is one of 30 women selected for an elite leadership program designed to address the historical and contemporary underrepresentation of women in politics.
Chadwell, who earned her bachelor of arts degree in global studies from OHIO’s Center for International Studies, will participate in the NEW Leadership Ohio program at Ohio State University June 2-6. Hosted by OSU’s John Glenn School of Public Affairs and the Department of Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies, the purpose of the program is to encourage and empower college women to take on public and political leadership roles.
A native of Worthington, Ohio, Chadwell said she applied for the NEW Leadership Ohio program to strengthen her leadership skills as well as to promote the research she conducted as an undergraduate on OHIO’s Athens Campus. Chadwell’s research focused on sexual assault prevention education and programming for college students and, more specifically, how consent is defined and the differences in communication styles between different sexes and genders.
In February, Chadwell, along with several members of the OHIO community, attended the Midwest Bisexual Lesbian Gay Transgender Ally College Conference in Kansas City, Mo. Chadwell presented her research at the conference in a workshop titled, “A Call to Activism: LGBTQ Rape Culture.” The workshop identified rape culture and rape myths and how they affect the LGBT community.
Chadwell said she sees the NEW Leadership Ohio program as a means to further develop her research and to continue promoting change through local and national campaigns.
“I hope to learn how to better implement my research and to help colleges all over Ohio start prevention programs for sexual assault and rape,” she said. “I want prevention programs to include diverse subject material helping all minorities, not just the LGBT community.”
Chadwell’s desire to make a difference is an ideal fit for the NEW Leadership Ohio program, which seeks to build a new generation of women in politics and policymaking. During this five-day residential institute, participants will learn the history of women’s involvement in public life; gain leadership skills in public speaking, advocacy and diversity; and form a network of their peers as well as current women leaders.
“I hope to meet people who have similar goals and to keep them as strong contacts in order to develop change in the social structure,” Chadwell said. “I also hope this will help me propel my work into different areas, such as the private sphere, in order to change the way society views rape.”
Following the program, Chadwell plans on relocating to the Cincinnati area and working with a nonprofit organization.