Women’s Symposium

2013 SMU Women’s Symposium minds the age gap March 6

SMU Women's Symposium 'Mind the Age Gap' logoFor its 48th anniversary, the SMU Women’s Symposium is using a new format to explore age-old questions about the differences and common ground among generations.

Associate Professor of Management and Organizations Ellen Jackofsky and senior art history major Bekah Boyer will participate in a moderated discussion on this year’s theme, “Mind the Age Gap.” The Emmie V. Baine Lecture event will take place during lunch on Wednesday, March 6, 2013, in the Hughes-Trigg Student Center Ballroom.

This year’s event promises to be “a very different kind of symposium,” says Karen Click, director of the SMU Women’s Center for Gender and Pride Initiatives. “I visit many different women’s organizations in Dallas, and most of their membership is over 60. They want my help in reaching out to younger women.”

But those efforts are hindered by “a feeling of incapability” shared across generations, Click says. “Younger women are worried about taking on the responsibility of keeping up the push for women’s rights. Older women are worried that their experience no longer matters. When women should be uniting to tackle issues, we’re stuck reinventing the wheel.”

This year’s event will focus on how those gaps affect the community, Click adds. “We see this specifically as an issue impacting Dallas, so we decided not to seek national speakers.”

> Find a complete list of 2013 SMU Women’s Symposium events

“We believe that each generation of women has something different to contribute,” says senior political science and management major Pooja Patel, co-chair of the Symposium’s CORE student planning committee. “By trying to minimize the ‘gap’ or disconnect between them, women’s groups in Dallas will be stronger and more effective.”

A variety of Symposium interest sessions will address topics ranging from the generationally shifting barriers to reproductive rights to how age affects women’s perceptions of appropriate (and inappropriate) fashion choices.

The Symposium is the oldest continuously running program of its kind in the country and attracts hundreds of community leaders, high school students and college students, faculty and staff members each year. And for some participants, including CORE co-chair Kimberly Elmazi, it’s a family legacy.

“All three of my elder sisters participated in CORE during their time at SMU,” says Elmazi, a junior political science and international studies major. “Eight years after my third eldest sister graduated from SMU, I joined the committee as a first-year. Now I’m a co-chair.”

More about the Symposium Student Planning CORE Committee

Elmazi is especially looking forward to the interest session “The Incredibles: Can You Have It All? Gender Roles and Reproductive Rights” because one of her sisters will be a speaker. “It’s funny how things have come full circle,” she says.

The Symposium will also recognize the winners of its 2013 Profiles in Leadership Awards and Gail Reese Ward Excellence in Mentoring Award. The recipients are:

Profiles in Leadership Awards

Gail Reese Ward Excellence in Mentoring Award

For more information, contact the Women’s Center for Gender and Pride Initiatives, 214-768-4792.

Kelsey Reynolds (’14) contributed to this article.

Learn more at the SMU Women’s Symposium website

March 1, 2013|Calendar Highlights, News, Save the Date|

Marlee Matlin to give keynote at 2012 SMU Women’s Symposium

Marlee MatlinAward-winning actress, author and activist Marlee Matlin will give the Emmie V. Baine Lecture at SMU’s 47th annual Women’s Symposium Wednesday, March 7, 2012. The event is the longest continuously running program of its kind in the country.

The 2012 theme is “Making the Leap: Women as Agents of Change” – a concept exemplified by the keynote speaker, says Karen Click, director of the SMU Women’s Center for Gender and Pride Initiatives. “Marlee Matlin has been an amazing change agent for Deaf advocacy. She is a very talented actor and author who has set her goals high and worked to achieve them,” Click says.

In 1986, at age 21, Matlin became the youngest woman and the only Deaf person to win an Academy Award for best actress when she took home an Oscar for Children of a Lesser God, for which she also won a Golden Globe. Subsequently, she earned two more Golden Globe nominations for the TV series Reasonable Doubts. She has received 5 Emmy Award nominations for her appearances in series including SeinfeldPicket FencesThe West WingThe L Word, Desperate HousewivesThe Practice and Law and Order: Special Victims Unit.

As runner-up in the 2011 season of The Celebrity Apprentice, Matlin raised in a single episode a record-setting $986,000 for her charity of choice, The Starkey Hearing Foundation. (Series star Donald Trump kicked in $14,000 of his own to make the contribution an even $1 million.) In addition, she competed on Dancing with the Stars in 2008. Her autobiography, I’ll Scream Later, was published by Simon & Schuster in 2009 – the same year in which she received a star on Hollywood’s Walk of Fame.

Matlin has served as an advocate for the Deaf and for persons with disabilities in general, as well as for LGBT issues. She is a tireless proponent for the expansion of closed captioning in all media.

The Symposium will examine all aspects of change, Click says. “How do we start to change? How do we feel about change? How does one person make a change in the world? We will even be looking at the literal and physical changes that women go through,” she says.

The Symposium’s evening program will honor the recipients of the 2012 Profiles in Leadership Awards. This year’s honorees include:

  • Rabbi Nancy Kasten, community advocate
  • Jill Johnson, board chair, Dallas County Historical Foundation
  • Courtney Underwood, sexual assault advocate
  • The Hon. Carolyn Wright, Chief Justice, 5th District Court of Appeals
  • Abby Williams, philanthropist

In addition, the Symposium will honor Cheryl Mayo, executive director of the West Dallas Community Center, with the Gail Reese Ward Excellence in Mentoring Award for “especially significant contributions as a mentor to girls and women.”

Symposium participants range from high school and college students to new career women to seasoned professionals, Click says. Additionally, SMU reserves 20 spaces each year for clients of local violence shelters. “Our hope is that all of these individuals learn that whatever age, status or experience, we can all learn from each other,” Click says.

“I also hope that our SMU students are motivated to see the world around them and look for opportunities to change it for the better. I hope we all realize the power that is held when people find a common goal.”

Early registration is open through Wednesday, Feb. 29. Limited seating may be available at the door, depending on preregistration numbers. Register online at smu.edu/womsym, or download an SMU faculty-staff registration form (PDF format). For more information, contact Karen Click, 214-768-4796.

> Visit the SMU Women’s Symposium homepage

February 23, 2012|Calendar Highlights, News, Save the Date|

Julie Powell to give keynote at 2011 SMU Women’s Symposium March 2

Julie PowellAuthor and food enthusiast Julie Powell, known to millions as one half of “Julie & Julia,” will deliver the Emmie V. Baine Lecture during SMU’s 46th Annual Women’s Symposium. This year’s event is scheduled for March 2, 2011, in the Hughes-Trigg Student Center Ballroom.

Powell will speak during lunch at the Symposium, which is the oldest continuously running program of its kind in the country and attracts hundreds of community leaders, high school students and college students, faculty and staff members each year.

The topic, “Happiness Is…,” was the result of brainstorming by the Symposium advisory board, CORE student planning committee and staff members, says Karen Click, director of the SMU Women’s Center for Gender and Pride Initiatives.

“We found we’re often comparing notes with each other about that secret to happiness,” she says. “Women are constantly trying to understand this thing. There are so many false paths to happiness, so much money spent in pursuit of it, so many dynamics involved in seeking and finding it. We thought it was a great broad theme, and the entire community can relate to it.”

Finding the ideal keynote speaker was the next challenge. “Most people don’t get their degrees in happiness or work for the Department of Happiness,” Click says. Powell’s biography and body of work stood out in that regard, she says.

In 2002 Powell, an Austin native, worked in the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation’s call center, answering questions from victims of the Sept. 11 attacks and complaints from the public about the LMDC’s plans for rebuilding on the World Trade Center site. In search of a sense of direction in her life, she decided to cook every recipe in the landmark 1961 book Mastering the Art of French Cooking, cowritten by Julia Child, and blog about her experiences. Those writings, collectively known as The Julie/Julia Project, led to Powell’s first book, Julie and Julia: My Year of Cooking Dangerously, published by Little, Brown in 2005. The book in turn helped inspire the major motion picture “Julie & Julia” starring Amy Adams and Meryl Streep, released by Columbia Pictures in 2009.

But wealth and fame brought no contentment. Powell almost lost her marriage and went through a series of financial disasters that ate into her new fortune. “Basically, she discovered she wasn’t happy at all,” Click says. “She became a butcher’s apprentice to rediscover her spark and motivation, and she wrote her second book about that experience.” Cleaving: A Story of Marriage, Meat, and Obsession was published in 2009.

The Symposium will present a variety of interest sessions on the subject of finding happiness, as well as a show by the Dallas improvisational comedy group Heroine Addiction.

In addition, the Symposium will recognize the winners of its 2011 Profiles in Leadership Awards and Gail Reese Ward Excellence in Mentoring Award. The recipients are:

Profiles in Leadership Awards
Lois Finkelman, public policy consultant
Candace O’Keefe Mathis, CEO, Foundation for Women’s Resources
Peggy Sewell, philanthropist and director, Sewell Automotive Companies
Karen Shuford ’70, charitable trust consultant, Bank of America Private Client Group
Kathleen Wu, partner, Andrews Kurth LLP

Gail Reese Excellence in Mentoring Award
Phyllis Bernstein, philanthropist

Symposium attendance is discounted for SMU faculty and staff, and students can attend free. The online registration deadline is Wednesday, Feb. 23. Register through the Women’s Symposium website or contact Wendy Smith, 214-768-4792.

(Photo of Julie Powell ©Kelly Campbell)

> Learn more at the SMU Women’s Symposium website
> Visit Julie Powell’s website at juliepowellbooks.com

February 22, 2011|Calendar Highlights, News, Save the Date|

Calendar Highlights: March 2, 2010

Dr. Laura BermanSpring Break begins: Save the dates – SMU’s 2010 Spring Break takes place March 6-14. Keep an eye on the SMU Forum for campus hours and activities information.

2010 Women’s Symposium: “Answers Empower: You Can Ask the Questions” is the theme for SMU’s 45th Annual Women’s Symposium March 3 in the Hughes-Trigg Student Center Ballroom. Therapist, sex educator, columnist, radio host and women’s health leader Dr. Laura Berman (right) will deliver the Emmie V. Baine Lecture during lunch. For more information, visit the Women’s Symposium website.

Maguire Public Scholar Lecture: Wayne Shaw, Helmut Sohmen Distinguished Professor of Corporate Governance in SMU’s Cox School of Business, will discuss possible reasons for the failure of managers to properly identify and mitigate conflicts of interest in “Ethics and Business: An Inherent Conflict?” on March 2 in Karcher Auditorium, Storey Hall, Dedman School of Law. Heavy hors d’oeuvres will be served at 11:30 a.m., followed by the lecture noon-1 p.m. Sponsored by SMU’s Maguire Center for Ethics and Public Responsibility. Free and open to the public.

Clements Center Brown Bag Lecture: Clements Center Fellow Cathleen Cahill will discuss “Federal Fathers and Mothers: The United States Indian Service, 1869-1933” noon-1 p.m. March 17, Texana Room, DeGolyer Library. Presented by SMU’s Clements Center for Southwest Studies, Dedman College. Bring your lunch.

March 2, 2010|Calendar Highlights|

Dr. Laura Berman to speak at 2010 Women’s Symposium

Dr. Laura BermanTherapist, sex educator, columnist, radio host and women’s health leader Dr. Laura Berman will deliver the Emmie V. Baine Lecture during SMU’s 45th Annual Women’s Symposium.

This year’s event, “Answers Empower: You Can Ask the Questions,” is scheduled for March 3, 2010, in the Hughes-Trigg Student Center Ballroom. Dr. Berman will speak during lunch at the Symposium, which is the oldest continuously running program of its kind in the country and attracts more than 400 community leaders, high school students and college students, faculty and staff members each year.

Berman has given advice about sex and relationships on “The Today Show” and CNN, as well as in publications including The New York Times, USA Today, Glamour, Elle and Ladies’ Home Journal. She also writes an online column, “In the Bedroom with Dr. Laura Berman,” and starred in Showtime’s hit reality series “Sexual Healing,” which followed real-life couples through a week in therapy with her. Her latest book, The Book of Love: Every Couple’s Guide to Emotional and Sexual Intimacy, was released by DK Publishing in January 2010.

Dr. Berman is familiar to millions through her nightly Sirius XM Radio program, “Better in Bed,” and her regular appearances on “The Oprah Winfrey Show.” That familiarity makes her an ideal individual to lead a conversation on women’s health and wellness, says Karen Click, SMU Women’s Center director and Women’s Symposium coordinator. “She is an expert in women’s health and speaks with an inspiring confidence about issues affecting women.”

Symposium topics range from medical myths to the state of the U.S. health insurance system, with discussions on body image, healthy nutrition and more.

Each year, Women’s Symposium participants provide feedback on topics for the following year’s event. Throughout 2009, the Symposium Advisory Board and Student Planning CORE Committee “kept returning to the theme of women’s health,” Click says. “As the national conversation on health and healthcare has been so prominent, we knew that we had hit upon a good topic.”

Through researching the subject and asking women about their health interests, “we found that more often than not they had questions instead of answers,” she adds – hence the 2010 Symposium title.

“We hope that the speakers, workshops and resources will provide answers to the myriad of questions that women have about their health,” Click says.

Symposium attendance is free for SMU faculty, staff and students; the registration deadline is Feb. 24. Register online or contact Wendy Smith, 214-768-4792.

Learn more at the SMU Women’s Symposium website
Visit Dr. Berman’s homepage at www.drlauraberman.com

February 16, 2010|Calendar Highlights, News, Save the Date|
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