Alabama Student Leaders Begin a Year of ActionNovember 11, 2010
When an Alabama leadership conference for college women shut down because of the troubled economy, Jessi Hitchins was stuck. As the assistant director of the Women’s Resource Center at the University of Alabama, she had been sending a group of women student leaders to the conference every year as part of the center’s Women Leaders in Action group. But it wasn’t long after the bad news that she found out about the National Conference for College Women Student Leaders.
“After reviewing many different conferences available, the center decided to attend NCCWSL since it has a strong student development foundation,” said Hitchins. “The students that have attended really gained from the conference, and we were happy to return this year for the second time. We plan to continue to attend for years to come because NASPA and AAUW are always on the cusp of new research and programs to foster change and equality.”
According to Hitchins, NCCWSL is a great fit for her program. “One of the goals of the UA Women Leaders in Action is to equip and empower college women with tools that will enable them to excel in the various facets of their lives and will assist change in the lives of others,” she said. “UA Women Leaders in Action students attend NCCWSL and then return to campus to develop and implement a community action project during the fall and spring semesters.”
This year, AAUW not only helped develop the UA students’ leadership skills through their trip to NCCWSL, but we also provided the students with resources for their community action project — bringing Elect Her — Campus Women Win to their school. According to Hitchins, “The UA WLA learned about AAUW’s program Elect Her and put the proposal together to vie to be one of the campuses that would host the [program] yearly. With pride, they put together a strong proposal, highlighting the ingrained issues on campus and in statewide politics.”
Hitchins expressed gratitude not only to NCCWSL, which she says “provides me with a strong foundation to work with the students for the rest of the academic year” but also to her students for pursuing the Elect Her — Campus Women Win program, which “will be coming back to UA’s campus every year, even after they are gone. From their commitment, I will get to see the long-lasting effects of their leadership, which is truly wonderful!”
This blog post was written by Leadership Programs Fellow Jessica Kelly.