Ohio University

Search within:

Conference Schedule

15 Years of Celebrating YOU! Conference Schedule

8:30 a.m. – 9:20 a.m.  Session A: General Session

A1: Cultivating Confidence and Courage to Lead

Moderator: Laurie Lach, Director, Regional Campus Development and Engagement

Elizabeth Sayrs, Ph.D., Vice President and Provost, Ohio University
Erin Carlson Mast, President/CEO, Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library Foundation
Barbara Ross-Lee, D.O., FACOFP, President-elect American Osteopathic Foundation

A hundred years after women won the right to vote, we collectively rejoice that we now have a woman serving as Vice President! While more women are serving in leadership roles than ever before, many women continue to discount their own knowledge, experience, and ability to lead. The journey to know your assets, find your voice, act on the vision you have, show self-assurance and lead others are concepts we will explore with our esteemed power panel. Join us for a lively conversation on cultivating confidence and courage to lead—right now, where you are and with what you already have!


9:30 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.  Session B: Concurrent Sessions

B1: Celebrating Women’s Stories: Community Cause Champions

Lyndale Alison Reisinger, Senior Consultant of Process Management, Nationwide Insurance
Mandi Custer, Senior Development Officer, Major and Planned Giving, Denison University
Angela Krile, Chief Executive Officer, Krile Communications

This panel consists of community members who thought of creative ways to help their communities last year during the pandemic – from blessing boxes, event planning, chalk art, community giving drives, and other methods, they found ways to fight food insecurity and work to meet community needs.

B2: Celebrating Appalachian Identity, Culture, and Values

Nora Stanger, M.S., Appalachian Outreach Coordinator, Sinclair Community College

Often the negative stereotypes associated with the Appalachian culture have been promoted without delving into the richness and beauty of this culture. How do we encourage, especially our young people, pride and embracing their Appalachian heritage while continuing to live out the traits our ancestors engrained in us? This session will focus on the resiliency, strength, resourcefulness and gifts of the Appalachian people.

B3: Building an Effective Team

Tammy Rapp, Ph.D., Management, College of Business, Ohio University

This workshop will provide an overview of the factors that contribute to team effectiveness, and research findings about women in teams.  The presenter will focus on cultivating awareness about how the presence and proportion of women in teams can impact team dynamics and performance.  Participants will learn key lessons about how women can approach collaborations in a way that supports both the team’s – and their own – professional success.

B4: Celebrating Wellness: Move Like a Girl

Jennifer Bennett, Executive Director of Wellbeing, WellWorks, Ohio University

Do you move like a girl? Of course you do. And it's fantastic, like a unicorn striding through an enchanted forest. No? Then this session will help you find ways to add movement to your daily life that brings you joy, pride, and confidence instead of shame, guilt, and avoidance. Reframe your thinking about movement, how it aligns with your values and life, and simple strategies to implement it in your daily life.

B5: Giving Voice: The Japanese War Brides: My Journey to Celebrating My Ancestry

Miki Crawford, Ph.D., Professor Emerita of Communication Studies, Ohio University Southern

Miki Crawford is the daughter of a veteran from West Virginia who served in Occupied Japan and her mother from Sapporo, Japan.  Japanese War Brides became her research focus and inspired the documentary, Giving Voice: The Japanese War Brides.  Miki will discuss how her efforts to share her family’s story became a voice for others.  As a child of the ‘50s, bi-racial families were not the norm.  Miki’s presentation will focus on how life’s journey has evolved from ‘passing’ to celebrating her ancestry.

B6: Feel Like an Imposter: Exploring Imposter Syndrome

Mary Kathyrine Tran, MS, Assistant Director, Ohio University Women’s Center

While imposter syndrome impacts all genders within higher education (apparently most of us feel like imposters!), this workshop will evaluate the syndrome from a gendered lens, highlighting the ways in which girls are socialized to perfection.  Inspired by both Valerie Young’s iconic text Secret Thoughts of Successful Women and Reshme Saujani’s incisive text Brave, Not Perfect, we will confront our imposter syndrome head-on with tangible tools to remind us of our value and worth.

B7: Building Your Own Professional Brand and Strategy

Kailee Slusser, Web & Digital Content Specialist, Ohio University

Participants will be able to assess your own self-presentation and perception from a new perspective by applying marketing and branding techniques to your professional persona. Think about your mission, vision, values, and attributes. Craft a branding strategy that will help you present as your ideal you.


10:45 a.m. – 11:45 a.m. – Session C = Concurrent Sessions

C1: Celebrating Women’s Stories from Appalachia

Jennifer Simon, Program Manager, Business Development, Appalachian Regional Commission
Faith Knutsen, Director of Social Innovation & Entrepreneurship, Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Service, Ohio University

Join this session to hear the very personal and inspirational stories of two women from Appalachia; the twists and turns of their careers; and, continuing their work to make a difference in their home regions. They each survived and thrived while meeting the challenges that life threw their way.

C2: Cultivating Influence to Achieve Goals: Internal and External Barriers that Hold Women Back

M. Geneva Murray, Ph.D., Director, Ohio University Women’s Center

In this session, we will articulate the internal and external barriers, including sexism and other intersecting forms of oppression, that hold us back from achieving our goals. We'll develop strategies to enable us to identify our personal board of directors, cultivate allies, and develop influence.

C3: When Life Hands You Lemons Don’t Make Lemonade

Amanda Barren, Anchor/Reporter, WSAZ-TV, Huntington/Charleston, WV

We all know the phrase and it certainly has merit.  But what happens if you don't add sugar? Sometimes the not-so-sweet side of things can be more beneficial. In this session we take a look at the sweet side of learning from the sour.

C4: Celebrating the Benefits of Yoga

Marci Hedderson Carroll, Geode Yoga & Fitness

Yoga is a true blend of balance, core strengthening and flexibility. In this session, find out how power yoga combines the meditative, detoxifying qualities of hot yoga with the intensity of power yoga to help you deepen your yoga practice. When set to motivating music, yoga poses can open the shoulders, hips and spine while strengthening your core and upper body.

C5: Be Flexible: Rising Above Life’s Challenges

Janice Kobi, B.S., Past President/Founder, Fairfield County C.A.R.E.S.                                        

Janice had big dreams and lofty career goals but through the years life events derailed her plans.  She put some things on hold to reset her life. She set priorities, learned from her mistakes, built friendships and networked along the way.  She shares her story and offers practical real-life advice on moving forward.

C6: Celebrating Her Story: Joan Browning, Freedom Rider

Joan Browning, Freedom Rider

Shiloh Witness is the name of her autobiographical chapter in the collection Deep in Our Hearts: Nine White Women in the Freedom Movement.  From picking 100 pounds of cotton per day at the age of 11 to the last Freedom Ride from Atlanta to Albany, Georgia, Joan Browning will tell her story of being a woman in the civil rights movement. 

C7:  Networking to Find Your Girl Tribe

Wendy Anderson, Executive Director of the St. Clairsville Area Chamber of Commerce

Join this session to learn why you should go outside your comfort zone to try new groups and meet new additions to your girl tribe. What does this journey look like and what should you expect?  We will focus on joining a networking group help you find your girl tribe. The purpose of the panel is to learn the skills and increase your success in finding your right tribe.

C8:  The Negative Effects of COVID Stress and How to Practice Self-Care

Kim Kohli, Ph.D., CBC, Psychologist at Fairfield Healthcare Professionals

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a major effect on our lives.  In a poll conducted by the Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF) in the spring of 2020, 45 percent of adults in the United States reported that their mental health has been negatively impacted due to worry and stress over the virus.  Learning to cope with stress in a healthy way will make you, the people you care about, and those around you become more resilient.  Stress can have many negative implications, such as feelings of fear, anger, sadness and frustration, changes in appetite and energy, difficulty sleeping, and difficulty concentrating and making decisions.  This workshop will focus on healthy ways to cope with stress and self-care.


Session D: Speakers/Awards

12:00 p.m. – 1:45 p.m.  Luncheon Speakers

D1:  The 3R’s: Risk, Resiliency and Rejuvenation

Tracey Miller, M.S., CCC-SLP, GCC, CTP, Fairhope Hospice & Palliative Care

KEYNOTE ADDRESS: Surviving (and Thriving) in Unsettling Times.

Alison Levine Keynote

Keynote Speaker:
Alison Levine, M.B.A., Adventurer, Best-selling Author, Motivational Speaker


2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.  Session E: Concurrent Sessions

E1: Celebrating Awesome Authors: Women Who Write

Judy Carey Nevin, Manager of Library Services, Hannah V. McCauley Library, Ohio University Lancaster
Esther Soto, Author, The Heart Series, Adjunct Professor, Ohio University Lancaster
Nicole Antoinette Smith, Assistant Professor of Instruction, Ohio University

Interested in developing a writing project?  Enjoy this panel where the panelists are published authors – for fun or profit.  This panel is an exploration into writing children’s books, fiction or for business.  As business owners, you have a unique opportunity to preserve your thoughts, experiences, creativity, skills, and most importantly your “know how” in print.  Learn how to write a book for pleasure, profit or to promote your business. 

E2: Celebrating Female Leadership in a Male-Dominated Field

Jacki Dickinson, Director, Franklin County Community Based Correctional Facility
Marge Rizalvo, Lieutenant, Ohio State University Police Department
Anne Ralston, Captain, Ohio State Highway Patrol, Commander, Cambridge District

The criminal justice arena is vast, but females only comprise approximately 11-12% of individuals in law enforcement.  In this session, we will hear from three glass ceiling-breaking female leaders in various law enforcement agencies.  They will discuss their struggles as well as opportunities they have faced in their respective leadership roles in traditionally male-dominated fields.

E3: Generations of Women in Technology 

Hermoine S. Balph, Retired IT Specialist, Westinghouse Electric Corporation
Marina Ferme, Interactive Media Studies major, Miami University
Theresa Iantosca, Former Computer Programmer, Bell Telephone
Monica Ivey, Program Manager, Westinghouse Electric Corporation
Newbie Carmela
Christine (Tina) Wolfe, Ph.D., Associate Professor Emerita, Computer Science Technology, Ohio University
Melissa (Lisa) Worms, IT Project Manager, System One Consulting

Under her photo in the 1940 Peabody High School yearbook, the activities for Hermoine Wimer included the "Tech Club."  When her daughters and granddaughters discovered the yearbook, they were surprised and intrigued.  What would members of a Tech Club have done in 1940?  Was it unusual for a woman to be in a Tech Club in 1940?  In this session, we examine the evolving progression of women in technology through the experiences of three generations of Hermoine's descendants who have pursued careers in tech fields. 

E4: Reclaiming Hope, Health & Happiness in 2021

Shelley Gavin, Employee Wellness Coordinator, Fairfield Medical Center; B.S., Sports Sciences-Exercise Physiology, Ohio University

To say 2020 was a tumultuous year is an understatement.  The effects of stress, grief and uncertainty in times like these can manifest in our bodies causing physical, emotional and mental damage. Physical responses may include headache, muscle tension, fatigue and sleeplessness. Emotional responses may include fear, anger and sadness. Feelings of helplessness, discouragement and lack of control can weigh on our mental health.

In this session, participants will learn multidimensional ways to manage and build resilience toward stressors in life to improve their overall health and well-being through preparation, relaxation, reframing, and maintaining physical health and well-being.

E5: Living a More Fulfilling Life:  A Workshop on Self-Awareness

Michelle Meese, Psy.D., Staff Psychologist, Mildred Mitchell-Bateman Hospital, Huntington, WV

This workshop will assist participants with increasing their self-awareness and ability to improve the quality of their lives through a self-exploration exercise.  The presenter will assist participants with exploring their values, supports, and current strategies for dealing with life stressors. Participants will then have an opportunity to identify healthy strategies to assist them with living a more fulfilling life.

E6: The Power of Maps and Myths: A Collection of Favorites from a Career in Community Building

Cara Dingus Brooke, President/Chief Executive Officer, Foundation for Appalachian Ohio         

Are you a visual learner? Do you believe a picture can be worth a thousand words? Cara Brook would answer “yes” to both these questions. And, now, after 15 years serving as the CEO of the Foundation for Appalachian Ohio, Cara is reflecting on “the visuals” that have helped her the most in her career.  Join for a fast-paced sharing of the diagrams, maps and graphic tools Cara has used to orient herself and her organization for change, growth and success.

E7:  Solidarity with the Other Beings on the Planet: Alice Walker, Ecofeminism, and Animals in Literature

Pamela B. June, Ph.D., Associate Professor of English, Ohio University Eastern

This presentation will discuss Pamela June’s new book, Solidarity with the Other Beings on the Planet: Alice Walker, Ecofeminism, and Animals in Literature (Northwestern University Press, 2020). June will provide an overview of ecofeminist theory and Alice Walker’s writing and will share a short selection from her book. Attendees will be encouraged to think about the intersections of various power structures related to race, gender, and species.

E8:  The Status of Women in Southeast Central Ohio: A Report about Women and Leadership in Fairfield and Licking Counties

Pamela Kaylor, Ph.D., Communication Studies; Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, Ohio University Lancaster
Candice Thomas Maddox, Communication Studies, Ohio University Lancaster
Chris Shaw, Adjunct Professor, Ohio University Zanesville
Virginia Proctor, Intern, BSAM, Ohio University

The Status of Women in Southeast Central Ohio Project was a study to explore the barriers to women serving in leadership roles and running for public office in Fairfield and Licking Counties. Through focus groups and surveys, the project staff collected data to identify the localized barriers/gaps for women serving in top leadership positions and running for public office. This panel will present the preliminary findings of that study, followed by a Q and A session. 


3:10 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.  Session F: General Session

F: Spunkifying Your Life: 8 Secrets to Living with More Focus, Fascination, and Fun

Cynthia Mendenhall, Author, Speaker, Adventuress; Career and Leadership Coach, Ohio University

Most people think they have a good idea of what the word spunk means:  rowdy, loud, sassy, or a bit on the wild side. The actual dictionary definition of spunk includes courage and determination. Cynthia will share 8 simple secrets you can use to “spunkify” your life and live with more focus, fascination, and fun.

4:00 p.m. - 5 p.m. Sponsor Hour / Door Prizes

This year we are specifically focusing on our 15th anniversary in our theme - 15 Years of Celebrating YOU! - on Friday, March 19th virtually, hosted on Zoom by Ohio University Lancaster, Ohio University Southern, Ohio University Zanesville, Ohio University Chillicothe, and Ohio University Eastern. This event is free with registration. Celebrate Women is sponsored by the Ohio University Alumni Association, EQT Foundation, Office of Diversity and Inclusion, Fairfield Medical Center, Citizen's Deposit Bank, Health & Safety Sciences, LLC, Fairfield Federal Savings and Loan, Krile Communications, Lawrence County Chamber of Commerce, Park National Bank, Quality Care Nursing, Inc., The Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Service, Ohio University College of Business, OUL Friends of the Library, OU Women's Center, and the OU Multicultural Center.