Quintessential queens

Annual application for women’s leadership conference reopens for 2021


Madison Ling, Managing Editor

When you reside in the Schoolcraft Ocelot den, it can be expected to learn about and be aware of our beloved mascot. For instance, the female members of the pride are called “queens of the jungle” and glancing at the opportunities provided to our own students to assist in their personal, leadership growth, it’s evident that we epitomize this label by encouraging every young woman at Schoolcraft College to develop into the most poised and fierce leader possible, including the opportunity to attend the National Conference for College Women Student Leaders (NCCWSL) at the University of Maryland every year since 2016.

“This conference strives to provide education about gender bias and to empower young women as they work toward becoming leaders in society and the workforce,” states Hinkle Center Resource Specialist, Rhonda Donovan. “The best part about participating in this opportunity is that it’s available at no cost to them at all thanks to the generosity of the AAUW and residual funding provided through the college’s presidential office.”

The 2021 conference will be held from May 26 to 29 and applications to attend should be completed by Jan. 25, 2021. To be eligible for this opportunity, students must be in good academic standing and registered for the upcoming winter semester in order to apply. In addition to completing a personal information and authorization form, applicants must submit a one-page essay that demonstrates their leadership and exemplifies contributions made to Schoolcraft College and the community. Finally, applicants must apply for a scholarship through Livonia, Northville and Novi’s American Association of University Women (AAUW) on the conference’s website to evaluate what will be covered for bus transportation to the event.

Six students will be selected from the pool of applicants in February and will be notified by March if selected to attend. Those that are provided with financial assistance are expected to attend a mandatory meeting before the conference and must conduct a presentation to the one of the AAUW’s local branches at a later date.

“Although this current year’s event was canceled due to the pandemic, the 2021 conference is scheduled to take place in person as it normally would be. However, students should be advised that this could be subject to change if COVID-19 precautions persist into the new year,” Donovan explained regarding current circumstances.

Those students who are selected will depart May 26 and reside in the university’s dorms for the duration of the conference. During their time there, students will have the chance to connect with speakers and other students, educate themselves about the issues and policies that affect women once in the workplace and strive to develop the necessary skills and confidence for being fierce, outspoken and poised leaders in any given career.

Lastly, these future leading lady Ocelots will be given the chance to have some fun sightseeing in Washington D.C. before returning home.

Twenty-one-year-old, psychology student and Schoolcraft alumnus, Marie Hosep, heard about this conference from a communications instructor and having always been eager to take advantage of collegiate opportunities, jumped at the chance to attend. Hosep shared the following recollection of her experience.

“When I went, we had our choice of what seminars to attend. I mostly chose those focused-on LGBT and race related issues. I appreciated that it was led by people who identified with those communities and enjoyed hearing perspectives from people of all walks of life. I met my current best friend while staying in the dorms, which proves what a great social opportunity this is as well. The greatest lesson I learned from it as a female leader was how to speak confidently and assertively without imposed censorship and with pride in our opinions. I would highly recommend to anyone interested in going to apply. It is free and the worst that can happen is you are not selected. I am so grateful to have gone and enjoyed my experience so much that I contacted Rhonda Donovan to attempt to go again last year, but it was unfortunately cancelled because of the pandemic. I still think and talk about it 2 years later.”

Do not hesitate, Ocelots. Apply today through the Hinkle Center and let the world hear that proud, regal roar.

For more information about this event or to obtain an application, please contact Rhonda Donovan by emailing [email protected] or calling 734-462-4443.