GU-Q female students attend leadership conference
Five female students from Georgetown University in Qatar (GU-Q) recently attended the National Conference for College Women Student Leaders (NCCWSL) which was held at the University of Maryland, College Park. NCCWSL is a premier US conference for college women which has helped students learn, grow, and empower each other to further their leadership skills for the past 30 years.
The annual event provides a transformative experience for attendees and prepares them to be the next generation of leaders. This trip would not have been possible if not for the support, dedication, and hard work of the Office of Student Development, who helped secure the funding that allowed students to attend. In order to shortlist suitable student candidates who will be able to gain the most value out of NCCWSL conference attendance and return to their campus and community ready to take action, GU-Q Office of Student Development, and the Office of Academic Services selected the best GU-Q student candidates by announcing an essay competition to all female students who were interested in becoming leaders. Out of 13 received essays, five students were selected to attend the conference.
“Our five students who were selected by the panel stood out because they talked about women’s empowerment in their culture and how they want women to have a bigger voice in their communities,” said Dr. Candice Render, GU-Q Learning and Disabilities Specialist, who was one of the student’s chaperone to the event. “We ended up with a great and very diverse group of smart young women who were so excited about attending this event and all of them had set out goals for themselves in terms of future achievements and impact they plan to make within their own communities,” Render explained. To watch these young women experience this conference through hearing the stories, and accomplishments of the other attendees was truly amazing! The energy in the room filed with 1000 young women was palpable.
Attracting the students from all walks of life, the NCCWSL conference this year offered more than 50 workshops, eight outstanding speakers, and dozens of opportunities to gain new experiences for the 1000 conference attendees. “NCCWSL 2015 gave our students plenty of opportunities for learning throughout the conference with workshops, networking sessions and experiencing high-impact leadership development practices, which is very important for future leaders. They provided freedom for students to interact with a thousand of other students and share experiences,” said Afsha Kohli, Operations Manager, Office of Student Development at GU-Q and one of the student chaperons to the US-held event. “However, I feel the real learning for our students was in the experience of attending a conference, realizing the process of being in a leadership position, engaging in meaningful conversations, knowing what it feels outside of the comfort zone, is what resonated with them during and after the sessions, respecting and recognizing the values each one of the students brought along.” She also noted that the Women Leader's Awards evening, was a very unique experience for the students. “Our students got a chance to hear the struggles, these women leaders went through to be able to share success stories that evening. All the participants were highly encouraged, knowing that the women leaders of today, were also hesitant, doubtful students of yesterday,” said Kohli.
“This conference opened my eyes to the great power women have even with the struggles we face on a daily basis just for being women. In addition to being college students, the attendees included mothers, soldiers, women who were abused in one way or another, and this had no effect on their passions to make change -- on the contrary, it was what fueled them,” said young GU-Q Qatari student, Hessa Albadr, commenting on the experience. In line with one of Georgetown’s principal values, Women and Men for Others, which promotes community service and being of service to others, Awatif Al Habsi, GU-Q student and conference attendee, noted that this conference helped her challenge herself, reminded her why she wants to make a difference and why she strives to be a part of something much bigger than herself. “This conference has a way of almost restarting your ambition, filling you up with positivity and fueling you to achieve anything you thought you couldn’t”, said Al Habsi.
The NCCWSL conference every year features exceptional female role models including Women of Distinction awardees and speakers. This year more than 1,000 college women from every US state and from around the world attended the two and a half day event and many educational and inspirational workshops that prepare them for life after college.
About Georgetown University in Qatar
Established in 1789 in Washington, DC, Georgetown University is one of the world’s leading academic and research institutions. Georgetown University in Qatar (GU-Q), founded in 2005 in partnership with Qatar Foundation, seeks to build upon the world-class reputation of the university through education, research, and service. Inspired by the university’s mission of promoting intellectual, ethical, and spiritual understanding, GU-Q aims to advance knowledge and provide students and the community with a holistic educational experience that produces global citizens committed to the service of humankind.
Located in Doha’s Education City, GU-Q offers the same internationally recognized Bachelor of Science in Foreign Service degree as Georgetown’s Capitol Campus in Washington, DC. This unique, interdisciplinary program prepares students to tackle the most important and pressing global issues by helping them develop critical thinking, analytic, and communication skills within an international context. GU-Q alumni work in leading local and international organizations across industries ranging from finance to energy, education, and media. The Qatar campus also serves as a residency and delivery location for the Executive Master’s in Emergency and Disaster Management along with the Executive Master’s in Leadership.