Lee University To Celebrate International Women’s Week

  • Wednesday, February 28, 2024
  • Olivia Faulkner, Lee University

In honor of International Women’s Day on March 8, Lee University’s Cultural Diversity Committee will host a series of events March 4-7, celebrating International Women’s Week. Activities will include special panel discussions, chapel services, and a poster competition.

“IWW provides opportunities for the Lee University and Cleveland communities to celebrate the accomplishments of women and to raise awareness concerning the obstacles that women still face, both locally and globally,” said Julie Burchfield, chair of the IWW subcommittee and an assistant professor at Lee.

On Monday, “A Mind of Her Own: An Interdisciplinary Women’s Scholar Panel,” will take place in the Edna Minor Conn Lecture Hall, located in the Vest Building, with Lee faculty presenters: Drs. Julie Gardenhire, Debra Gladden, Racheal Lawler, Julie Martinez, and Donna Summerlin.

“This panel highlights some of the incredible women scholars on our campus,” said Dr. Ashley Mulligan, assistant professor of English. “My goal for the evening is for our female students in particular to walk away inspired and encouraged, and for all of our students and other guests, male and female, to gain a deeper understanding of the important role women intellectuals have in a variety of academic and social spaces.”

On Tuesday, there will be a service held in The Lee Chapel, facilitated by Dr. Vanessa Muen Wei, assistant professor of piano, officiated by Dr. Martinez and featuring music from the Ladies of Lee. Psychology Professor Dr. Heather Quagliana will deliver the message, which will address the question, “Are we loving ourselves as neighbors?”

Later that evening, “Latte in the Library” will take place at 7 p.m., hosted by the Learn Engage Achieve Program and Squires Library. Dr. Michaelia Black, assistant professor of accounting, will share her own personal experiences and will communicate ideas for how to navigate the challenges of college life.

“‘Latte in the Library’ is a ‘Ted Talk’-like event that offers students free lattes and the opportunity to hear stories, life advice, and tips for navigating college from a Lee faculty member,” said Dawn Bixler, lecturer and library coordinator for public services.

A Student Poster Session will be held in the SMC Great Room on Wednesday, March 6, from 12:20-3:35 p.m. Students from across campus will present on topics related to women. This event is multidisciplinary, with students representing a variety of majors and areas of interest includingtheology, anthropology, psychology, Biblical studies, humanities, and disaster and healthcare mission management.

On Wednesday evening, March 6, “A Balancing Act: Examining Career and Cultural Norms” will be presented in the School of Business, Room 300, from 7-8:30 p.m.

"Everyone is invited to join us for an engaging conversation regarding the complexities of life and career,” said Dr. Holly Perleoni, director of Lee’s Master of Business Administration program. “Hear from several businesswomen about their journey to success and the challenges and opportunities along the way."

During Thursday’s Conn Center chapel service, Hailey Johnston, founder and CEO of Project Free2Fly in Cleveland, will speak. Free2Fly is a nonprofit organization that aims to support women by teaching them the skill of sewing, as well as personal and professional mentorship.

Directly after Chapel until 3 p.m., "Community Connection: Spotlight on Women-Led Ministries & Businesses," will be held in the lobby of the PCSU.

"Several female-led ministries and businesses will be present to showcase their work in our community,” said Dr. Perleoni. “They will be available to connect with students regarding service opportunities, possible internships, and to help students learn more about the work they do."

Lee’s Art Gallery will host the opening reception for Lauren Merceron’s art exhibition, “A Visual Diary: Journey Back to Me,” on Thursday, from 5-6 p.m. at Squires Library. This show will run through March in celebration of Women’s History Month.

"We are so excited to host the opening reception for this exhibition,” said Victoria Phillips, visiting art professor. “Lauren’s work, which explores discovering self-love and subconscious thoughts relating to the inner self, has been featured in Home & Garden and British Vogue.”

The IWW subcommittee works under the umbrella of the Cultural Diversity Committee, and members include Ms. Burchfield; Ms. Bixler; Mary Mathias-Dickerson, artist-in-residence; Dr. Mulligan; Dr. Perleoni; and Dr. Wei.

According to Ms. Burchfield, IWW is founded on the scripture Genesis 1:27-28, which states that “God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them. God blessed them…” (NIV).

“Our IWW events are founded on this biblical truth. God created both male and female, both bear the image of their Creator, and both are blessed by God,” said Ms. Burchfield. “With so many events taking place across campus, we hope that students, faculty, staff, and members of the community will each find something to enjoy and be a part of.”

All events are free, non-ticketed, and open to the public.

For more information about Free2Fly visit projectfree2fly.com.

For more information about Lee’s IWW events, contact Burchfield at julieburchfield@leeuniversity.edu.

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