MURRAY, Ky. — Nine Murray State University faculty and staff attended the national Leadership Women Pipeline program September 2.
Pipeline is a virtual, one-day program with innovative speakers and mentors offered by Leadership Women, the largest and longest running leadership development nonprofit organization for women in the nation. With a mission to ensure women’s full and effective participation and equal opportunities for leadership at all levels of decision-making in political, economic, and public life, the conference allowed these Murray State women focused on the building years of their leadership journeys to connect with a broad diversity of peers to foster, ongoing relationships and a professional leadership network.
The faculty and staff were able to attend through a donation from Lana Garner Porter, B.A., 1965, M.A., 1972 and 2002 Murray State Distinguished Alumnus recipient. Porter has contributed many gifts to Murray State over the past few years for projects in Murray State University’s Libraries, the Telecommunications Systems Management program and multiple campus improvement projects.
“I know how difficult it is to provide development opportunities beyond an individual’s area of specialization in the educational environment so I am happy to support these kinds of opportunities for the women of Murray State University,” she said. “I am so pleased at the diversity of the fields represented by the women who were able to participate in the Leadership Women Pipeline program.”
The faculty and staff from Murray State selected to attend include Dixie Lynn, WKMS-NPR affiliate; Cris Ferguson, interim Library Dean; Dana Thompson, Resource Librarian; Kelsey Riggins, Assistant Track and Field Coach; Dr. Alyx Shultz, professor of Agriculture Science; Dr. Jessica Evans, Director of Assessment and Accreditation for the College of Education and Human Services; Asia Burnett, WKMS Director of Development; Jennifer Cline, Associate Director of Marketing and Communication; and Melanie Sieb, Exec. Director, Education Abroad.
“Leadership Women represents an invaluable opportunity for us to connect with other strong women around the country, particularly at a time when we are not able to travel and be together in person,” Ferguson said. “I found Erin Crosby’s session on navigating change, and Dr. Lawrence Riso’s session COVID anxiety to be both timely and useful for me in my role as Interim Dean of Libraries, as I work to lead the Murray State University Libraries through a pandemic producing both change and anxiety.”
Riggins said that Leadership Women’s Pipeline was an opportunity to learn and grow from other women, not only those who work in her profession, but from all different careers and areas. “Finding community all over the country is so refreshing,” she said.
Porter said women are feeling the effects of the pandemic on top of their professional lives.
“In these extraordinary times, I am so pleased that Leadership Women has developed virtual programs for women that gives them the opportunity to meet other women from around the country in all stages of leadership in their careers,” Porter said. “Not only is this a great way to network with so many other successful women in other fields, but also it is a great way to find how similar their lives are and how they can share their successes and experiences with each other.”
“If this program provided some respite and help for these women from Murray State, it has been a great success,” Porter said.