Women S Leadership Symposium
Women's Leadership Symposium: Dynamic Women, Diverse Paths
Dynamic Women, Diverse Paths is a half-day virtual symposium on women's leadership open to all students, faculty, and staff. The symposium offers participants insight into women's diverse paths to leadership positions in government, non-profit, and higher education.
Topics include mentorship, professional growth, and personal transformation.
Date: Thursday, April 15, 2021
Time: 9:00 AM - 2:00 PM
Cosponsors: the Council on Women in Higher Education, Common Experience, the College of Liberal Arts, the McCoy College of Business, and the Center for Diversity and Gender Studies.
The virtual symposium will be recorded and available for viewing after the event.
Women's Leadership Symposium
9:10 AM Opening Remarks
Denise M. Trauth became president of Texas State University in 2002. Before joining Texas State, Dr. Trauth was provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. She earned a bachelor’s degree in English at the College of Mount St. Joseph, a master’s degree in journalism at The Ohio State University, and a Ph.D. in mass communications at The University of Iowa. Under Dr. Trauth’s leadership, the university was designated a Texas Emerging Research University;
has been reclassified as an “R2: Doctoral University – Higher Research Activity” under the Carnegie Classification system; became a federal Hispanic-Serving Institution; moved to the FBS subdivision of NCAA Division I, and has experienced its largest construction program since being founded in 1899. The university has also greatly expanded its external funding of research and philanthropic giving.
9:30 AM - 10:30 AM: Government & Governmental Relations Leadership
This panel explores the careers of women leading change in the area of government and government relations. Panelists discuss being candidates for public office, public service, and engaging with the public sector on behalf of their clients.
Laurie Fluker is the Associate Dean of the College of Fine Arts and Communication and an Associate Professor of the SJMC. Her dissertation – earned in the Radio, Television, Film Department -- was titled: NBC Coverage of the Civil Rights Movement: 1955-1965. She serves on the State Board of the Texas Association of Black Personnel in Higher Education and has been recognized with numerous awards and honors, such as the "Everett Sweeney Award for Excellence in Teaching" (2006) and the "Mariel M. Muir Excellence in Mentoring Award" (2006).
Martha began her career in public service as the first African -American female to serve on the San Marcos, TX city council. During her term she was elected by her colleagues to serve as Deputy Mayor Pro-Tem. On January 2, 2020, She was unanimously elected to serve as the City of Houston’s Vice Mayor Pro-Tem. She also represents the City of Houston on the Texas Municipal League (TML) Board of Directors. Martha chair’s the Economic Development committee; and is a member of the Budget and Fiscal Affairs, Ethics Elections and Council Governance, Housing and Community Affairs, Regulations and Neighborhoods Affairs, and Transportation Technology and Infrastructure city council committees.
A dynamic leader, Ms. Cannon is currently the President & CEO of the Austin LGBT Chamber of Commerce after recently serving as the Vice President of Government Relations with the Greater Austin Chamber of Commerce. Cannon also served as a Senior Policy Analyst for the City of Austin. Prior to her work in politics, Ms. Cannon has been a seasoned entrepreneur having spent many years in the Austin startup space. Ms. Cannon served as an Entrepreneur-in-Residence for Texas State University and has been a guest blogger for CBSNews.com. She has been a featured presenter at various technology events. Cannon graduated from Texas State University with a bachelor’s degree in accounting.
Jane Hughson was elected as Mayor of San Marcos on November 6, 2018 and re-elected November 3, 2020. She worked at Texas State University for 33 years before retiring in 2015.Currently, Ms. Hughson serves as a member of the Capital Area Council of Governments Executive Committee and the Capital Area Emergency Communications District Board of Managers. She also serves on the following policy committees: Capital Area Economic Development District, Inc., Capital Area Regional Transportation Planning Organization, Central Texas Clean Air Coalition.
Candice Woodruff currently serves as as the director of policy and planning for Texas State University System's Governmental Relations office. Formerly a senior policy advisor to Gov. Greg Abbott, Woodruff has more than a decade of legislative and executive branch experience working directly on higher education issues. She most recently served in Gov. Abbott’s Policy Office, spearheading the creation of the Governor’s University Research Initiative (GURI) and developing the governor’s policy and budget recommendations for higher education.
10:45 AM - 11:45 AM: Non-profit Leadership
Panelists discuss non-profit leadership across industries and interest areas. The group will explore approaches to leadership, authenticity, and service.
As Associate Dean for Faculty and Research at Texas State University’s McCoy College of Business, Alexis Stokes manages faculty policies, research initiatives, global programming, and diversity and inclusion. In addition, she chairs Business Leadership Week, serves as the Academic Program Director for McCoy MBA/MSHRM Study Abroad, and represents her colleagues on both the President's Council for Women in Higher Education and the President's Work-Life Advisory Council. Outside of Texas State, Alexis serves as President of the Lake Austin Chapter of National Charity League, Inc., a 501(c)(3) mother-daughter philanthropic service organization. Alexis earned her Bachelor of Arts in Economics, Political Science, and Managerial Studies, cum laude, from Rice University, and her Juris Doctorate from Harvard Law School. Alexis has been a certified mediator since 1997 and is admitted to practice law in Texas.
Dr. Shetay Ashford-Hanserd is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Organization, Workforce, and Leadership Studies at Texas State University, where her research agenda focuses on equity and broadening the participation of women of color and minorities in the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) and computing workforces. She is transforming her research into action as the Founder of ACCEYSS (Association of Collaborative Communities Equipping Youth for STEEAAM Success) Network, which is a coalition that helps faith-based and grassroots organizations with resources and funding to bridge the STEEAAM (science, technology, engineering, entrepreneurship, agriculture, art, and mathematics) equity gap in underserved communities.
For native Texan, Rhonda Smith, her life's work became clear to her following a near-fatal accident involving an 18-wheeler in 1999. After the wreck, she left her job as Corporate Benefits Manager for Dell and founded Spirit Reins in 2003. Rhonda is a 1994 graduate of Texas A&M University with a B.B.A. in Finance and a professional background in human resources management. She has served on the Board of Directors for both the Equine Assisted Growth and Learning Association (EAGALA) and Eagles Wings Retreat Center and is active on several local committees focused on improving the mental health of children who have experienced trauma. Rhonda is also a trained Equine Specialist in Natural Lifemanship.
With twenty years’ experience in construction, Texas government and nonprofit management, Amy Ledbetter Parham serves the 72 Habitat affiliates as Executive Director of Habitat Texas. Amy was a political campaign manager and a design professional for an architectural firm that specialized in public buildings and school districts. She has worked with more than 100 nonprofit organizations as a consultant in private practice, including Habitats, before coming to Habitat Texas. Amy holds a Master’s degree in Public Leadership from the LBJ School of Public Affairs and B.A. in Government from the University of Texas and a B.A. in Design from Texas State University – San Marcos
Deborah D. Tucker has devoted more than 47 years to local, state, national, and international efforts to end the use of domestic and sexual violence. Debby is known for starting many organizations in partnership with others, often taking a leadership role on the Board or Staff, including SAFE, TCFV, the NDVH, the IPV Prevention Council, and NCDSV. Debby worked closely with then Senator Joe Biden to write and pass the Violence Against Women Act in 1994. and co-chaired the Department of Defense Task Force on Domestic Violence.
12:00 PM - 1:00 PM: Higher Education Leadership
The higher education panel, co-sponsored by the President’s Council on Women in Higher Education, explores the diverse paths of women leaders among Texas State University’s students, faculty, and staff. Panelists discuss how they have been shaped by students and their needs. Being a mentor and being mentor-able, as well as working within institutional limitations, are important points of departure.
Born and raised in Cincinnati, Ohio, Mary C. Brennan attended Edgecliff College of Xavier University for her undergraduate degree before moving onto received a Ph.D. from Miami University of Ohio in 1988. In 1990, Brennan joined the History faculty at then Southwest Texas State University. During her tenure in San Marcos, she has served as both undergraduate and graduate advisor as well as College of Liberal Arts representative on the Faculty Senate for seven years. In 2007, she won the Mariel Muir Mentoring Award. In 2011, she became chair of the department of history, and in 2017 became dean of the College of Liberal Arts.
Dr. Gloria Martinez currently serves as a professor in the department of Sociology as well as the inaugural director of Latina/o studies minor at Texas State University. She received a Bachelor of Arts degree from San Jose State University (1991) in Child Development, and a Masters of Arts and Ph.D in Sociology from The University of Michigan-Ann Arbor. Her interest in sociology stemmed from my undergraduate courses in Sociology of Education, Mexican-American Studies and Women¹s Studies at San Jose State University. I have a number of research interests that includes Social Stratification, Race, Class and Gender, Sociology of Health, Illness and Aging, Latino Sociology and Qualitative Research Methodology.
Nelly R. Herrera has been with the Texas State University System Office of General Counsel since July 2011. She is a magna cum laude graduate of St. Mary’s University in San Antonio and received her Juris Doctor degree from the University of Texas School of Law. She began her career with TSUS as Associate General Counsel, assigned to the Texas State University campus, but has served as Deputy General Counsel since 2017, handling a variety of complex legal matters for the TSUS campuses and upper-level administration. She is board certified in Personal Injury Trial Law. She received the 2009 Government Service Award from the Travis County Women Lawyers’ Association.
Dr. Cynthia L. Hernandez serves as the Vice President for Student Affairs at Texas State University in San Marcos, Texas. She earned a bachelor's degree in Animal Science and a master’s degree in Educational Administration with an emphasis in Student Affairs Administration, and a doctorate in Educational Administration from Texas A&M University. Dr. Hernandez focuses on enhancing student success and learning in the co-curricular through inclusive, student centered programs, services, and initiatives and communicating the impact and value of student affairs work.
Dr. Sofia Chapman has over eighteen years of educational experience in various roles from the elementary education arena to the higher education arena. Most recently, Dr. Chapman was the Managing Director of the Office of Student Conduct at Texas Tech University in which she oversaw campus discipline. Currently, Dr. Chapman serves as Associate Dean for Student Life and Director for Diversity at Texas Tech University of Law. Dr. Chapman graduated in 2012 with her Ph.D. in Higher Education from Texas Tech University in which her research consisted of assessing the success of Latinas who completed the terminal degree process. Dr. Chapman also serves as an adjunct faculty member in the Higher Education program
1:10 PM: Closing remarks
Debbie M. Thorne, Ph.D. is the associate provost and a tenured professor of marketing at Texas State University. She is a primary advisor to the provost and provides leadership on effective resource allocation, faculty recruitment and retention, professional development, tenure, promotion, and performance management, accreditation standards for faculty, diversity and inclusion, and the shared governance climate for over 2,300 faculty members and administrators.
Dr. Thorne joined Texas State in 2001 as the chair of the department of marketing and eventually served as presidential fellow (2005-2006) and associate vice president for academic affairs, with oversight for curriculum, distance learning, and international affairs (2006-2016).