A Dynamic Day with Duke Women (and a Few Great Guys!)February 17, 2011
On a rainy day in early February, I had the pleasure of meeting the fabulous women of the Duke Women’s Center. Their team was in charge of bringing the AAUW and Running Start Elect Her–Campus Women Win program to Duke’s campus for the first time. The leadership team included student organizers Caroline Hall and Ebonie Simpson, who helped to coordinate over 60 attendees for the daylong training to encourage female students to run for Duke Student Government.
I was thrilled by the enthusiasm and excitement of the day. Ada Gregory of the Duke Women’s Center was smart to know that music would keep participants’ energy high. Gregory asked me to guess what the theme of the music was. After a few guesses, including strong women role models, she told me that all of the music came from campaigns that featured a woman as the candidate for president or vice president. Brilliant!
We had some amazing highlights during the Duke training. One was that former Duke University President Nan Keohane addressed the participants and spoke about the importance of women leading. She recently wrote a book called Thinking about Leadership, a very appropriate theme considering the context of the day. I was also thrilled to meet and listen to North Carolina state Rep. Deborah Ross, who addressed the Elect Her audience and delivered an inspiring talk about why she ran for political office and how she developed a successful campaign. She was riveting and a huge highlight. Many students raved about her. We wrapped up the day with a great networking reception, where a number of Duke administrators came to meet and greet the Elect Her participants.
Hats off to a fantastic leadership team for holding a successful first-ever Elect Her Duke training. I am excited to see how this program will grow and flourish each year on the Duke campus. I know there will be a number of successful candidates who were inspired to run. And congrats to Amanda Peralta who won the Elect Her–Duke Women Win campaign simulation!
This post was written by Running Start Executive Director Jessica N. Grounds.