Workshops & Panels

NCCWSL offers skill-building workshops and educational panels that are designed to challenge and inspire you to make an impact on your campus and in your community long after you leave the conference.

NCCWSL 2024 | May 30 – June 1, 2024 – Maryland

NCCWSL offers skill-building workshops that challenge and inspire our attendees to make an impact on their campuses and in their communities long after they leave the conference. Presenters from all industries will be featured, including but not limited to science, technology, engineering, and math; public policy; health care; corporate leadership; and academia.

NCCWSL 2024 Workshops and Panels

Take a sneak peek at this year’s conference agenda:

Thursday, May 30, 2024

5:30 p.m. - 6 p.m.

Join your fellow NCCWSL participants to kick off NCCWSL24 with a session designed empower and inspire you to find your own unique voice as you learn and grow on your leadership journey! During this engaging session, led by Dr. Shelia Higgs Burkhalter, Vice President for Student Affairs at Winthrop University, you will learn what it means to be a responsibly engaged NCCWSL participant. You’ll find your voice and be encouraged to use it throughout the conference!

Friday, May 31, 2024

9:45 a.m. - 10:45 a.m.

Active knowledge and intervention can help girls and women have amazing and successful STEM careers. Karin Moore, Ph.D., researched this topic for the past three years and will be at NCCWSL to present her findings. Finding success is critical to women’s personal finances, the collective economy, and innovation. Let’s keep our girls and women interested and thriving in STEM careers.

This session is tailored to center the experiences, health, and healing of university students who are the eldest daughters in their families. As eldest or only daughters, there are often unique challenges, burdens, and labor placed on the eldest to perform, take care of, and uphold the family system. We will explore the unique experiences, pressures, and opportunities that come with being the eldest daughter and provide a safe and supportive space for exploring healing and personal growth, with a special attention to the experiences of eldest daughters of Black, Indigenous, and immigrant families and other families of color.

Many of us become leaders because we want to see improvements in our hometowns, our universities, and our organizations. We care deeply about what we do and who we serve. Associated with this deep commitment are also strong emotions. However, if we can’t process strong emotions that come up while in leadership, we run the risk of burning out. In this session, we will explore the world of emotions and what happens in our bodies when we become “triggered”. Practicing compassion and non-judgment, you’ll have a chance to explore one of your triggers to find the unmet need at its root.

“Authenticity” was the 2023 word of the year, according to Miriam-Webster. The choice reflects growing interest in the meaning and significance of the term, how it manifests, and how it impacts relationships and the success of those with significant leadership responsibilities. Increasingly, there are calls for greater authenticity in leadership and ruminations of how, in its absence, leaders are less likely to inspire those whose loyalty and cooperation they need. By extension, they are also less likely to engender a culture of respect, transparency, and the psychological safety individuals crave to perform at their best. With trends pointing towards an increasingly VUCA (volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous) national and global environment in the years ahead, the need for authentic leadership will be more urgent. This workshop will provide deep insight into the meaning, impact, and practice of authentic leadership.

Cozy in Community: Leading Authentically is an engaging and interactive workshop with a purpose to provide participants who identify as women of color with the tools to identify their leadership styles, communicate who they are through storytelling activities, and network with a community of their peers who share similar identities and backgrounds. The goal of this workshop is for you to leave feeling comfortable in your skin, cozy with who you are, and ready to show up on your college campus, in the workplace or anywhere as an authentic leader.

The alumnae team would like to host a resume writing workshop for students. Students would have the ability to sign up for 30 minute time slots (via app) with an alumna in their respective field to discuss their resume and career goals.

The entrepreneurship session will focus on how imagination, creativity and innovation are connected to entrepreneurship and the business model canvas. This will be a good session for scholars interested in pursuing non-STEM and STEM careers.

Generation Z is more politically energized than ever, and many will soon hit the ballot box for the first time. As momentum around the 2024 election grows, students everywhere are wondering how they can engage in the political process on the national, state, and local level. Whether you are interested in volunteering on a campaign, holding a registration drive on campus, or looking to take a stand on a policy issue, there are countless ways you can get involved.

Join our panelists for a discussion about how to be an informed, engaged, and active member of society.

11 a.m. - 12 p.m.

The words we use matter. Judgements, analysis, criticisms, diagnoses – are all examples of communication practices that stem from our mind and have the capacity to erode trust in our relationships with others. When we shift the root of our communication from our mind to our heart, we are able to focus on that which can’t be argued with: our observations, feelings, and needs. In this session we’ll review the basics of nonviolent communication: observation, feelings, needs, and requests. Working through your real-life communication challenges, you’ll leave this workshop with new language practices to help you lead from the heart.

The June 2022 decision in Dobbs v Jackson Women’s Organization devastated abortion rights in many parts of the United States, highlighting the need for an invigorated reproductive health, rights, and justice movement. Emergency contraception (EC, such as Plan B), which provides a last chance to prevent unintended pregnancy, is more essential than ever but not always accessible on college campuses.

This workshop focuses on the how-tos of EC activism on campus, and on campus activism as a launching point for a career in reproductive health, rights, and justice. This workshop will be led by professionals at different career stages who got their start as student activists. We will provide background information about EC, how to identify the need for improved access on campus, and how to take action and inspire other student leaders.

Participants will leave with a motivation to work for EC access and concrete tools and support to do so. They will also learn about different pathways to pursue their desired career path and some strategies for gaining new opportunities. Through this workshop, threads from all of the conference learning objectives will weave together into a dynamic, productive session.

Most Americans would say that the answer to the question, “Are all genders guaranteed equality under the U.S. Constitution?” is yes. However, this answer is wrong.

Equality on the basis of sex is NOT a constitutional right for everyone. The Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) was written by Alice Paul and Crystal Eastman and introduced in Congress in 1923. By 1940, equal rights for women were on the platforms of the Republican and Democratic parties. The current version was approved by the Senate in 1972 and supported by Presidents Nixon, Ford, and Carter. Congress gave the amendment 7 years to be ratified, even though Article V of the Constitution does not call for a time limit. Congress can and has changed the 7-year limit, and the 27th amendment took more than 202 years to ratify. Virginia was the 38th state to ratify the ERA in 2020. It has now met the Article V requirements and should be the 28th Amendment. 100 years of fighting for guaranteed gender equality has put us within reach of the ERA, but today, the ERA, while ratified, has not yet been certified nor published. And yet, 85% of Americans from all political affiliations believe that the ERA should be a part of our Constitution.

The lack of constitutional equality reaches every aspect of women’s lives. The ERA would clarify, once and for all, that sex discrimination in employment, Social Security, education, and more is a violation of our constitutional rights as Americans. The ERA provides the opportunity to seek legal recourse when an individual faces sex discrimination and require “”strict scrutiny”” for the claim.

This workshop will discuss how we got to this point, why the ERA is so desperately needed, the ERA’s current status, and what women, especially young women, can do to help bring more attention to the ERA. It is time for equality!”

How much will you owe in student loans after 4 years? If the answer is anything above $0, it is time to take control of your financial destiny and start working towards cutting down your loans.

Join Attorney and Scholarship Strategist, India Prather, to learn three, actionable steps that can help you not only win scholarships, but also turn those winnings into assets. This workshop will include India’s personal stories of how she won scholarships (over $300K) and also share examples of her clients’ essays to help participants understand how to construct a winning one.

Participants will also have the opportunity to reflect on their own personal finances and learn how to share their own stories in a way that captivates scholarship judges. Leadership happens when you are empowered to enact change; and now is the time to change your financial trajectory using scholarships and/or help a friend do the same…are you ready?

In this workshop, students will embark on an introductory journey into the fascinating worlds of quantum computing and machine learning. Students will gain foundational knowledge in these cutting-edge fields, empowering them to explore the possibilities and potential applications in their future endeavors.

With today’s 24-hour news cycle and the increasing influence of social media, the urge to get involved in every cause and campaign is significant. As a result, self-care often falls to the end of our priority list. Yet without paying mindful attention to our mental, physical, and emotional health, the only impact we will make is a negative impact on our well-being.

Our panelists are here to discuss best practices for staying healthy while juggling competing interests and will share tips for carving out time for productive self-care.

Choosing the right career option can be a daunting task—whether it is identifying tangible job opportunities or choosing a career path. Finding your career path if you’re undecided can be a challenge, but one worthy of investing your time to discover. Join the discussion and get inspired.

1:45 p.m. - 2:45 p.m.

Mastering healthy boundary-setting is essential to realizing our potential. Our careers, relationships, and overall life satisfaction are dependent on our ability to speak and act on our truth- especially when it’s difficult. In this workshop, attendees will be able to identify their current boundary style and learn practical, implementable tools that will allow them to navigate every area of their lives with healthier boundaries.

Incorporating design thinking, career education, and positive psychology, this tactical workshop specifically for college women will provide you with confidence, competence, and clarity about your post-graduate options along with the tools you will need to strategize and plan your immediate and longer-term career and life pathways.

Many lessons can be gleaned from Elle Woods in “Legally Blonde”: the importance of friendship and mentors, standing up for what you know is right, and, most importantly, that “you must always have faith in yourself.”

While the 2001 comedy movie teaches some skills not necessary in the workplace (such as the “bend & snap”), it also details how to overcome difficulties when trying to fit in to an industry where you are not the “norm”.

In this session, participants will learn the 6 key “BLONDE” traits to crushing stereotypes and finding one’s place in their career, regardless of what everyone else thinks you should look like, act like, or be like. Because, if Elle Woods can attend Harvard and become a lawyer, we too can break the mold and be unique, individual, and the best version of ourselves.

According to the American College Health Association, 90 percent of women college students reported feeling overwhelmed by all they had to do (15 percentage points higher than college men). Why is this overworked feeling different for women than for men?

This workshop will address why we feel overwhelmed and stressed out, and will offer tips for how college women student leaders can manage their lives to stay on point and function at their best.

Do you find it harder than you’d like to speak up for yourself? Wish you could be more confident and assertive? Are you unsure of what to do when someone crosses your boundaries? Healing from what you’ve been through? Join us for Claim Your Power, where you’ll learn practical skills you can use right away for stopping harassment, abuse, and assault.

Whether it’s interrupting harassment at work, school, or on the street; setting limits with family members; or stopping someone who’s crossing your physical boundaries, the skills you’ll learn in this workshop will help. Everyone can do this! You don’t have to be fit, and people of all abilities are welcome.

This workshop is interactive and engaging, featuring movement, practice, and discussion. You’ll leave this workshop equipped with new, practical skills that will help you be more confident and assertive at school, at work, and everywhere else.

Our approach, Empowerment Self-Defense, places violence in a social-justice context, shifts responsibility from the victim-survivors to aggressors, centers embodiment, honors survivors, understands trauma, and offers a comprehensive toolbox of verbal and physical strategies. Defend Yourself instructors have trained more than 40,000 people of all ages, genders, and walks of life. We have, for example, held classes and workshops at hundreds of D.C.-area schools, faith groups, workplaces, community organizations, and more. Find out more about us (and our trainers) at

More information on panels to come!

First-generation college students face unique challenges as they navigate the higher education landscape. Often they don’t the benefit of guidance from their families about institutional culture, processes, and guidelines. This panel will illuminate the experiences of first-gen students, shedding light on their resilience, resourcefulness, and the invaluable contributions they make to academia and society.

Through personal narratives, research insights, and practical strategies, panelists will explore the multifaceted journeys of fist-generation students. We will delve into the systemic inequalities and cultural dynamics that shape the first-gen experience and we will celebrate the diverse perspectives and talents these students bring to their campus communities.

By fostering dialogue and amplifying the stories and voices of first-generation college student leaders, the panel will empower participants to celebrate their own experiences and those of other first gen students on their campuses.

Learn how to research your target salary, highlight your accomplishments and find the right words — and the confidence — to negotiate for better benefits and pay. Sign up for a facilitator-guided virtual workshop or use our Work Smart Online e-learning tool, which takes less than two hours to complete and can be done at your own pace — both are free!

Negotiating increases your potential to earn more — and can make the difference for paying off loans, supporting your family, buying what you want and need and saving for the future.

We will facilitate 3-5 roundtable discussions where NCCWSL participants engage with a moderator, an expert in a STEM discipline. STEM is often described as solutions and innovation-oriented fields – the aim is to immerse the girls in current STEM dialogues and encourage them to contemplate their potential contributions to the field. These discussions may range from lively debates on various topics to constructive exchanges aimed at generating solutions for existing challenges or they may delve into the future trajectory of industries or address social justice issues such as diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI).

3 p.m. - 4 p.m.

Amy will provide an overview of the Start with Compassion™ framework she created in which COMPASSION is an acronym. She will delve into the C – Connected, the O – Open-Minded and the first S – Silence the Judger. All three are critical to helping us show up as our best self in the moments that matter! Through storytelling and raw, honest reflections Amy will share specific tools, actions and thought-provoking content that will help you transform how you show up in the world. If you are looking for more, better or different – it’s time to Start with Compassion™, because the change you want to see in the world, begins with you!!

This Woman’s Worth: Communicating your Personal Brand is an interactive workshop designed for female-identifying, undergraduate students to learn how to communicate; who you are, your strengths, leadership style and your career goals in order to get the job for you! During this session, participants will learn and engage with one another as they build their knowledge and skills on areas such as: resume writing, crafting your elevator pitch, networking strategies and most importantly – understanding your worth and what you can bring to your next internship and/or full-time job. The goal of this workshop is for you to leave feeling empowered, uplifted and prepared to showcase your worth (personal brand) in your next interview.

You worked hard to earn an internship or full-time job offer — but what do you do once you have it?

Obtaining a job offer is tough, but preparing for your 1st day at work can be even tougher. What do you wear? What is the company culture like? Should I bring lunch on my 1st day or plan to go out? Throw in other unknowns like relocation or company reorgs before you start, and it can seem like a recipe for disaster.

In this session, learn everything you should do to prepare for that first day on the job and beyond so you can put your best self forward, even if workplace culture and norms are a mystery to new hires.

As human beings, we are wired for connection. From the moment we are born, we begin a journey where we long for safety. In our bodies. In our relationships. In our society. However, it’s a gnarly world out here and not all interactions are inherently safe. That’s where our autonomic nervous system comes in; its job is to assess the safety of our environment and give us the energy we need to survive.

In this interactive session, you’ll have a chance to explore the three nervous system states available to all human beings: social + engaged mode; fight/flight mode; and freeze mode. Using cutting-edge research in Polyvagal Theory, you’ll be invited to explore your unique responses in each of these states and rediscover your oldest friend: your autonomic nervous system.

Ms. Simon represents scores of survivors, both women and men, from junior high to Ph.D. students, as well as faculty and staff. She represents survivors in school and campus grievance proceedings, often from the reporting process through any appeal process, and in obtaining remedies and accommodations to ensure student-survivors may safely and fully access the benefits of their education — ensuring their civil rights are protected and fulfilled.

Ms. Simon also represents survivors in Title IX litigation against Universities and has assisted survivors in filing complaints leading to federal investigations by the Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights, and Clery Compliance Division. As community leaders, its critical to know about one of the most pressing and frank, common, issues students face on campus – sexual assault, dating violence, and stalking. Survivors of sexual assault have many important rights that can keep their education on track in the face of sexual assault. That includes being safe on campus, addressing impacted grades, and when a survivor chooses, to report an assault and go thought a disciplinary process.

This session will teach student leaders about Title IX, campus sexual assault victims’ rights to accommodations so they may safely and fully access the benefits of their education, as well as a school’s responsibility to conduct prompt and equitable grievance proceedings into reports of student-on-student sexual assault. These rights stem from Title IX, state laws, and school conduct codes. Simon will discuss how to best advocate for victims to ensure these rights are upheld and how to successfully assist survivors in navigating campus disciplinary proceedings. Simon will discuss survivors’ rights under Title IX and other laws to file civil lawsuits against schools for damages caused by violations of their rights and explain the legal standard governing such claims. After this workshop, student leaders will be equipped with understanding this important right, and the processes that follow when a student choses to report.

Are you a first-generation graduate stepping into the professional world? Join us for an empowering workshop designed exclusively for trailblazers like you. In this session, discover how to navigate the unique challenges and seize the unparalleled opportunities awaiting you beyond student life.

Unlock the strategies to confidently transition from college to career, leveraging your distinctive background as a powerful asset. Explore resilience-building techniques tailored to your journey, transforming hurdles into stepping stones toward success… On your terms. Pioneer your path forward with clarity, confidence, and purpose.

The workshop begins with an introduction to the fundamental concepts of CAD and an overview of Fusion 360, a powerful and versatile CAD tool widely used in the industry. The participants, mainly students with varying levels of expertise, are welcomed to a hands-on learning experience that combines theoretical insights with practical application.

Despite women’s impressive gains in education and the workplace over the past 50 years, men outnumber women in leadership, especially in top positions. Women are not simply denied top leadership opportunities at the culmination of a long career. Rather, those opportunities disappear at various points along the way. Women of color face even further obstacles to their advancement and, as a result, are even less likely to move into leadership roles.

Join us for a discussion on the leadership gap, gender discrimination in the workplace, implicit bias, and what to do about the pervasive barriers holding women.

4:15 p.m. - 5:15 p.m.

We have a responsibility to our future selves to understand our own financial security. With fin-fluencers (social media financial influencers) and girl math at the forefront of financial conversations, it is important to know what is true and what is fiction.

Let’s talk about what you really need to know to find wealth, close the gender wage/wealth/retirement gaps, and and support your community while doing it!

Megan and Lily co-founded The Period Project at West Chester University, will describe the process of institutional change, help attendees identify a need and present a model for implementing change at their universities. The Period Project at West Chester University was founded in 2022, and since has distributed over 10,000 products to menstruators across the West Chester campus, Megan and Lily have succeeded in advocating to administration and getting the Period Project permanently implemented in all bathrooms (Men’s, Women’s, and Gender Neutral) across the West Chester Campus.

This workshop will teach attendees about menstrual equity, implementing institutional change, and leadership skills in the environments you work and live in. We will discuss the development and implementation of need-based programs through 7 steps.

These steps include:

  1. Identifying a need, and collecting evidence,
  2. Finding a mentor/advisor; finding your resources,
  3. Take action; implement a program to start addressing the need,
  4. Collect data and feedback,
  5. Make noise; create a social media presence, contact administrators, post flyers, make connections with campus organizations; get your need recognized by the university.
  6. Proposal; leverage the generated noise to get in the ears of administrators, create a program that can be automatically implemented, and do the work for them.
  7. Implementation; Oversee the progress and follow up with relevant parties, involve yourself if possible, create a board to oversee the implementation.

How does the intersectionality of your identities impact your interactions? Your worldview? How you lead? In this engaging workshop, we will explore how our identities and personal views impact our interactions and our ability to be culturally competent leaders. You’ll learn about reflexivity and methods to practice it so you can address your biases, develop self-awareness, and lead (yourself and others) with empathy.

Through guided discussion, inquiry, and experiential activities, participants and facilitators will explore and develop a personal mission statement.

The session will provide participants with an overview of the elements of a personal statement and opportunities to brainstorm and articulate each component of their own statements. Facilitators will also guide discussions on the benefits of a mission statement and, through small and large group discussions, explore the purpose, power, and durability of this work across numerous milestones and critical life events.

Individuals in the session will craft a personal statement through guided activities like mining for core values, identifying activities that bring joy, and writing a first draft to share with others in the session. The session will conclude with a reflective, large group discussion, a strong draft of a personal statement for each attendee, and some concluding remarks on how to revisit and update personal statements over time.

The workshop kicks off with a brief introduction to Arduino, elucidating its significance in the field of embedded systems and DIY electronics. Participants are introduced to the Arduino hardware, exploring its components and understanding how these elements come together to form a versatile microcontroller platform. The instructors’ guide students through the process of setting up their Arduino boards, ensuring a smooth start to the hands-on experience.

“Are you concerned for those who face hate speech and violence? Unsure how to respond if you witness verbal or physical hate? We all have opportunities to interrupt potentially harmful situations. And we all have concerns that can prevent us from getting involved. We may fear for own safety, worry about being embarrassed, think it’s not our business, be afraid of escalating the situation, or something else. Skills are the antidote to those concerns.

In this workshop, you’ll develop skills to assess a situation and choose a response. You’ll learn teach creative strategies for responding to incidents of harassment and ways to de-escalate aggressive behavior. Hands-on practice will builds on what you already know, and you’ll leave with skills you can use.

We’ll focus on:

  • A social justice framework for understanding the role of bystanders in interrupting oppression,
  • Reasons to intervene when you see a problem, and reasons not to,
  • The 5 Steps of Bystander Intervention, and
  • 4 Tools for Intervening.

Women statistically invest less than men, and they are also less likely to talk about their finances. In addition, the gender pay gap remains persistent, and is even wider for many women of color.

This panel brings together leading voices across the broadening landscape of wealth creation to break down taboos around personal topics like money and finance, as well as highlight ways to get involved as an investor — at any stage and in myriad ways.

Narrative 4 – Storytelling Workshop

Saturday, June 1, 2024

9:00 a.m. - 10:30 a.m.

Do not miss this closing session which will include NCCWSL reflections from AAUW CEO, Gloria Blackwell, and Senior Director of Policy and Member Advocacy, Meghan Kissell. Dr. Shelia Higgs Burkhalter, Vice President for Student Affairs at Winthrop University, closes out the session with a challenge to NCCWSL 24 participants to use your amazing voices to take up space, build your own narrative, and contribute fully to your campuses and communities!


LOVE THE DIVERSITY on the panels. There were so many women from different walks of life, and it was empowering.

—2021 NCCWSL attendee