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June 6, 2008

Empowering Young Women Around the Globe

NORTHAMPTON, Mass. – More than 65 young women from countries around the world will be asked to explore, examine and challenge their potential to contribute to a global society when they gather at Smith and Mount Holyoke colleges June 10-13, for the 2008 Women’s Education Worldwide (WEW) Student Leadership Conference

Building on other leadership conferences offered by the WEW, the conference will offer a chance for the student leaders enrolled at women's colleges in nations from Australia to Zimbabwe to come together for a series of interactive leadership workshops.

Elizabeth Cole, professor of women’s studies and African American studies at the University of Michigan, will open the conference at 7 p.m., Tuesday, June 10, at Mount Holyoke with a keynote address about the global concepts of feminism and the role of women as leaders in societies around the globe.

Each member institution of the Women’s Education Worldwide organization was invited to send two student representatives to the conference. The organization is made up of 18 women’s colleges in the United States and 32 in other countries.

Student participants will each choose a  project to work on in their community upon their return from the conference. The conference is designed to empower students to see themselves as agents of positive change and the workshops, led by faculty and staff from Mount Holyoke, Smith and Wellesley colleges, will offer skills in how to plan and achieve their project goals.

”The WEW conference will create an encouraging and collegial environment for students to explore, challenge, and re-design their views of women as leaders and their potential for contributions in a global society," said conference co-organizer Julianne Ohotnicky, Smith College dean of students. 

Presenters from Smith College include Jennifer Walters, dean of religious life; Susannah Howe, assistant professor of engineering; Nanci Young, college archivist; and Emily Taylor ’08, outgoing president of the Student Government Association.

President Carol T. Christ will also speak to the conference participants at a dinner at her house on Thursday, June 12, following their afternoon exploration of campus and Northampton.

Students from the following institutions registered for the conference:
Ovidius University Constanta, Romania
Agnes Scott College, USA
Ahfad University, Sudan
Aston University, UK
Barnard College, USA
Bryn Mawr College, USA
Brescia University College, Canada
Collegio Nuovo, Italy
Dubai Women's College, Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Ewha Women's University, Korea
Government Girls Degree College Swat, Pakistan
Yildiz Technical University, Turkey
Kiriri Women’s University of Science and Technology, Kenya
Kobe College, Japan
Lady Shri Ram College for Women, India
Michigan State College, USA
Mills College, USA
Mount Holyoke College, USA
Ochanomizu University, Japan
Shaheed Rajguru College of Applied Sciences for Women, University of Delhi, India
Smith College, USA
Sookmyung Women's University, Korea
Spelman College, USA
University of Ghana, Ghana
University of Queensland, Australia
University of Sydney, Australia
University of Michigan, USA
University of the Punjab, Pakistan
Wellesley College, USA
Women University in Africa, Zimbabwe
Yildiz Technical University, Turkey
Zayed University, Dubai, United Arab Emirates


Office of College Relations
Smith College
Garrison Hall
Northampton, Massachusetts 01063

Kristen Cole
Media Relations Director
T (413) 585-2190
F (413) 585-2174

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