Women’s Leadership House kicks off first year

By Austin Metz | 8/26/12 6:12pm


GVL / Eric Coulter
Students Kayla Campbell and Stephanie Mehmed work in the common area of the South Apartment C dorm on campus. Due to the large number of incoming freshman, an overflow in the dorms has cased some freshmen to be housed in Laker Village.

by Eric Coulter / Lanthorn

Grand Valley State University’s Women’s Center has partnered with the Women and Gender Study program to start the Women’s Leadership House on GVSU’s Allendale Campus.

“The overall purpose of the house is to build a community for women leaders,” said Jo Ann Wassenaar, associate director of the Women’s Center. “The house will center around leadership activities that will help in opening minds to new ideas, new people, and new experiences.”

The house will center around five key areas to teach leadership qualities. These areas include civic engagement, cultural awareness, leadership principles, skill development, and celebration.

Julia Mason, faculty director of the Women’s Leadership House, said that the goal of the house is to develop and support the next generation of women’s leaders.

“We are thrilled at the potential of the house and we expect the women to grow and excel at GVSU,” Mason said. “We want to help to grow leadership within the house and outside. We hope to teach practical leadership skills while also teaching the women to speak articulately and exhibit all the qualities of leadership.”
Although leaders of the House were unsure how the first year would turn out, 25 women have signed up to stay in the house while more are on a waiting list and are staying in another area.

Along with participating at the House, the women will be doing different activities including career focus events and a barbecue which the public is welcome to attend.

Samara Woolfolk is a GVSU student who came into contact with the House when she needed help with scheduling and will now be staying in the Women’s Leadership House this coming year.

“I hope to learn better leadership skills, to volunteer and I like to be in a group of people who want to do things,” Woolfolk said. “It can be hard to organize things by yourself. I’m hoping to learn how to put things on myself and to be a better leader.”

The Women’s Leadership House will be located in the VanSteeland Living Center and will become another learning and living community on GVSU’s campus.


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