Event to hone women’s skills in leadership

Posted June 02, 2010, at 8:31 p.m.

ORONO, Maine — The University of Maine will host its second annual six-day leadership institute for female undergraduate students starting on Thursday, an event that focuses on providing women with skills such as public speaking and networking.

The almost weeklong National Education for Women Leadership event is designed to “address the under-representation of women” in leadership roles, according to Mary R. Cathcart of UM’s Margaret Chase Smith Policy Center. The event’s public speakers include UM President Robert Kennedy, Amy Fried, associate dean for research at the College of Arts and Sciences at UM, and Emily Cain, Orono’s state representative. Participants include students from Husson University, Colby College and the University of Southern Maine, among others.

“It’s an interesting group that we’re going to have,” Cathcart said Wednesday.

The conference will take place at the Woolley Room at the Doris Twitchell Allen Village, the Foster Student Innovation Center and other areas on campus over the next several days. Sessions will begin at 9:30 a.m. Thursday; 8 a.m. Friday; 7:30 a.m. Saturday; 8:30 a.m. Sunday; 7:15 Monday and 8 a.m. Tuesday.

The event will include projects such as mock press conferences and legislative hearings, as well as a day spent at the State House in Augusta with legislators on Monday. The participating students will hear from panels of women legislators and other female political leaders about their experience working in leadership roles.

Men are welcome to attend the event, according to Cathcart, but it strictly targets women.

The event is run by the Margaret Chase Smith Policy Center and the University of Maine Cooperative Extension. Rutgers University started the National Education for Women Leadership program in 1991, and UM became the 17th higher-education institution to participate in it last June.

Students interested in attending can learn more at mcspolicycenter.umaine.edu.

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