Whitely Women’s Leadership Symposium empowers students to pursue professional aspirations

News – The Miami Hurricane Patricia Whitely did not become vice president of University of Miami Student Affairs overnight. After years of hard work, she became the first woman to take on the position and has dedicated herself to the role for the past 22 years. With her appointment in 1997, she overcame obstacles and prejudices to commence a new chapter in UM’s history. Since then, Whitely has built her career with the help of other women and made her mark on the university by aiming to inspire others.
“It’s been a very positive experience,” Whitely said. “I’m very honored to be one of the senior members of the university that also happens to be a woman.”
The Butler Center for Service and Leadership wanted to ensure that all women who wish to pursue professional aspirations are provided with leadership training and empowerment. It was with this reasoning that in the fall of 2012, the Butler Center established the Women’s Leadership Symposium, later endowing it in honor of Whitely in the spring of 2016.
Although the theme of the symposium changes every year, the purpose has always remained the same: to “provide an opportunity for young women to hear from women role models in the community and from around the country to talk about how they have navigated the corporate terrain, the non-profit terrain, and to hear from their wisdom and life lessons,” said Whitely.
“I am, She is, We are… Enough” was the theme behind this year’s symposium, which took place Saturday, March 30 and was open to all students. The event consisted of headshots of individuals in attendance, two workshops, an address by keynote speaker Christin “Cici” Battle, Executive Director of Young People For (YP4) and two sessions on lifestyle and wellness. Throughout the day, the 90 attendees, mainly women, participated in various events and activities.
“Overall, I really liked it,” said freshman biology …

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