Get to know some of the women behind the Women’s Leadership Retreat!

“We all stand on the shoulders of the women who came before us.”

Tomorrow is the big day a lot of us have been waiting for! The first ever Women’s Leadership Retreat kicks off at 7 am tomorrow morning. We’d like to extend a huge thank you to the faculty and staff who have volunteered their time and knowledge to make this weekend a success. Here’s a quick introduction to a few of them!

Maribeth Johnson-Flakes (@maribethjflakes)

What is your role on the BSU Campus? Associate Director, Office of Student Involvement & Leadership

What are your top five themes from the StrengthsQuest assessment?

  • Woo, Empathy, Communication, Individualization, Discipline

What drew you to become a facilitator for this event?

Advising and volunteering for women’s organizations is not only a passion of mine but a labor of love. Empowering young women to follow their dreams and aspirations is every woman’s responsibility.

What are you most excited about in regards to this event?

I’m hoping we can create a culture of women who feel empowered to accomplish great things on campus and beyond!

 If you could only pack two items (besides the basics) in your overnight bag, what would they be and why?

1) My dog, Radar- he would be sticking his head out so he could breath.
2) Food for Radar 🙂

What is your main hobby outside of work?

Working out

 What is one fun fact that you would like to share with the attendees?

I wear my watch on the hand I write with. 

 Sandy Neargarder

What is your role on the BSU Campus?  Professor and Chair of the Psychology Department

What are your top five strengths from the StrengthsQuest assessment?

  • Achiever, Learner, Discipline, Positivity, Harmony

 What drew you to become a facilitator for this event?

I want to encourage young women to realize that they have the potential to become active leaders in their lives. I feel as both a leader and a woman that I have learned a great deal about leadership through various situations and positions I have been involved with and I am interested in sharing this knowledge with other women so that they too can find success in various types of leadership roles.

What are you most excited about in regards to this event?

Spending an entire weekend with a great group of female students and facilitators!!

If you could only pack two items (besides the basics) in your overnight bag, what would they be and why?

Oh my……this is a tough one. One would be my cell phone. I would pack it in case of an emergency and of course for the flashlight feature in case I need to use the restroom in the middle of the night! The other thing I would pack would be my own pillow. Sleeping on my own pillow is a bonus!

What is your main hobby outside of work?

My main hobby is bike riding. I enjoy taking long rides with my friends and training for long distance rides like 50 to 100 miles.

What is one fun fact that you would like to share with the attendees?

I love cats! In fact, I have been actively involved in rescuing cats. I have some interesting stories to tell – all you need to do is ask me!

  Julie Hayes (@j_e_hayes)

What is your role on the BSU Campus?Resident Director

What are your top five strengths from the StrengthsQuest assessment?

  • Input, Individualization, Ideation, Restorative, Strategic

What drew you to become a facilitator for this event?

I have been privileged to have some fantastic female mentors in my leadership development, and I would like to pay it forward. We all stand on the shoulders of the women who came before us.

What are you most excited about in regards to this event?

Working with students and helping develop more female leadership!

If you could only pack two items (besides the basics) in your overnight bag, what would they be and why?

A hoodie, because I am always cold and a good book!

What is your main hobby outside of work?

I do a lot of fiber work, mostly crochet.

What is one fun fact that you would like to share with the attendees?

I’ve lived in over 21 different places in my life. The longest I’ve lived in one place in my adult life is 3 years.

 Jessica Birthisel

What is your role on the BSU Campus? Faculty member in the Communication Studies department

What are your top five strengths from the StrengthsQuest assessment?

  • Achiever, Communication, Woo, Futuristic, Strategic

What drew you to become a facilitator for this event?

Three things: 1.) a passion for gender studies and feminism; 2.) positive experiences as a student leader in college and excitement about giving back in that capacity; 3.) a desire to meet new students and other faculty and staff members since I just started here at BSU last semester.

What are you most excited about in regards to this event?

I’m looking forward to the workshop elements of the weekend (when participants will take the ideas we’re presenting and apply them to activities, reflections, discussions, etc.) Also just the social time to get to know the student participants and my facilitator colleagues.

If you could only pack two items (besides the basics) in your overnight bag, what would they be and why?

One would be a journal (these sorts of retreats and conferences always get me inspired to think/write/dream and I need a place to jot them down before the thoughts slip away.) The other would be hiking/walking shoes. I hope to get to go explore the grounds and walk around a bit. I love to check out a new space and this is my first time in the Cape Cod area.

What is your main hobby outside of work?

I moonlight as a novelist and when I have free time I love to work on writing fiction. I also bake a lot, make upcycled crafts, and spend a lot of time with my three awesome little boys.

What is one fun fact that you would like to share with the attendees?

I am a Beatles fanatic and one of the best days of my life was when I met Paul McCartney at a movie theater in Brighton, England, where I worked one summer in college through a work abroad program.

Teresa King (@teresaking)

What is your role on the BSU Campus? Director if the Honors Program & Associate Professor of Psychology

What are your top five strengths from the StrengthsQuest assessment?

  • Relator, Strategic, Learner, Input, Individualization

What drew you to become a facilitator for this event?

I want to do whatever I can to help young women feel empowered to make positive changes in their lives and communities.

What are you most excited about in regards to this event?

The chance to learn from the other facilitators and the students.

If you could only pack two items (besides the basics) in your overnight bag, what would they be and why?

A novel and my dog. There are not many experiences better than snuggling with my dog and getting lost in a good book.

What is your main hobby outside of work?   Bike riding and gardening

What is one fun fact that you would like to share with the attendees?

I have served as a wedding officiant and this June I will be officiating the wedding ceremony for a BSU alum.

Sarah Wiggins

What is your role on the BSU Campus? Associate Professor. History/Assistant Director, Honors Program

What are your top five strengths from the StrengthsQuest assessment?

  • Context, Learner, Achiever, Intellection, Responsibility

What drew you to become a facilitator for this event?

I have always been engaged with gender issues/studies and wanted to get involved, and I knew that this event would be a positive experience for everyone.

What are you most excited about in regards to this event?

I look forward to meeting students, sharing ideas, and building more community networks at BSU.

If you could only pack two items (besides the basics) in your overnight bag, what would they be and why?

I would bring my cat, Fate, because she actually enjoys travel.  She has traveled cross-country with my partner and me on many occasions.  I would also bring a Jane Austen novel to read in my cabin with a flashlight.

What is your main hobby outside of work?

I enjoy a number of activities:  hiking, reading, hunting for antiques, being outdoors in general.

Diane Bell (@dianebell424)

What is your role on the BSU Campus? Director, Community Service Center

What are your top five strengths from the StrengthsQuest assessment?

  • Adaptability, Developer, Connectedness, Positivity, Relator 

What drew you to become a facilitator for this event?

I’ve never done anything like this before so for me, this was a way for me to challenge myself.  I’m not sure what made me do this, other than the idea that I might be able to part a little bit of knowledge about leadership to the young women participating in this retreat.

What are you most excited about in regards to this event?

I’m excited to learn from the women attending this retreat – from the facilitators and from the young women participants.  I don’t always see myself as a leader yet I’m going to be surrounded by so many women who I totally see as leaders on this campus.

If you could only pack two items (besides the basics) in your overnight bag, what would they be and why?

I would pack my iPad so I can listen to music. I would also pack my camera as I love to take photos.

What is your main hobby outside of work?

I love to travel by train because I don’t like to fly.  My goal is to see all 50 states and I’m almost there with the exception of about 5 states.  Of course, Hawaii and Alaska will be challenging but I’ve already figured out a way to see them without flying!

I also LOVE sports and am an avid baseball and football fan.

What is one fun fact that you would like to share with the attendees?

In addition to traveling to all 50 states, I also want to volunteer in all 50 states.  For some states, that merely means donating to a local cause by giving money or sending items.  For other states, that means physically volunteering.  My job makes this an attainable goal but I’ve got to volunteer while vacationing in other states.  Some day, I want to produce a photo book of all the places I’ve volunteered across the country.

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About Cayti

I'm a sophomore at Bridgewater State University majoring in Fine Arts-double concentrating in Graphic Design and Photography. I am a sister of Gamma Phi Beta as of Fall 2010. My goal in life is to travel the world and photograph the things that photography can't do justice. Right now I am waiting for my boyfriend to come home from his deployment, and focusing on my education and taking as big a part in my sorority as possible. I work in the university's Office of Student Involvement and Leadership as a student marketing coordinator and as the Photo Editor for the university paper, The Comment.

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