“In Her Shoes” – Providence House

I had the privilege of attending the WILD event, “In Her Shoes.” This event was very interactive and taught the WILD women and Lakewood High School students about the dangers of dating abuse. WILD women were paired up with high school students and each pair was given a scenario. In the pair, one person was the victim, who had to make the decisions in each scenario, and the other person was the witness who silently observed the victim make their decisions. In my group, I was the witness. My partner was given the card stating she was abused by her girlfriend. I went with her through each decision, whether she chose to go to the hang out station to be with her girlfriend, or whether she chose to go home where her parents opposed homosexuality. It seemed like no matter what choice my partner made, she had to keep picking up the props that visually showed how much abuse she was really taking, whether it was verbal or physical. This event was really eye-opening. I had no idea that so many women go through dating abuse and how different each situation is. Dating abuse isn’t just physical. At this event, I witnessed many women wearing insult stickers.  It became evident to me that the verbal abuse is sometimes a lot worse than the physical abuse. Bruises will heal; it’s the emotional pain that really scars a person. And while some women do get out of dating abuse, others sadly, do not. Fortunately, the Providence House of Ocean County offers a safe house and a hotline for anyone who needs help with this issue. If you fear you or someone you know may be in an abusive relationship, you can call the Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-732-244-8259. If you would like to volunteer at the Providence House, you can call Marcia Fishkin at (732) 350- 2120.

By Bridget DiPierro-WILD X Cohort

Book Discussion – Rape: Weapon of War and Genocide

On Thursday, April 18, 2013, Dr. Scott Bennett met with the WILD women to discuss the heart wrenching book Rape: Weapon of War and Genocide. This book is made up of 13 chapters; each chapter focuses on a different war, whether it was civil war or world war, and discusses how women and children, even men in some cases, were treated during those wars. Each chapter is written by a different expert. Several WILD women were assigned to read each chapter to ensure that each chapter could be discussed in full; however there was only 2 hours to discuss the book. The discussion focused on what genocide is; with many different definitions the book, or rather the United Nations 1948 Convention, defines genocide is acts, including but not restricted to outright killing, committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a nation, ethnical, racial, or religious group. Throughout the book two tribunals are mentioned, Rwanda and Yugoslavia; tribunals being the courts responsible for prosecuting the men responsible for rape during wars. Granted many men who have committed rape have been convicted, not nearly enough have been caught, leaving their victims scared and vulnerable. One of the victims states even though these men are being convicted their minimized sentences are actually minimizing the suffering of the victim. This book opens the eyes of readers to femicide which is gendered violence against women that ultimately results in their death. This book was actually my suggestion for WILD to read because I thought it would be an educational experience for WILD to see what happens to women around the world. As Americans we are focused on what is going on around us that we sometimes forget there are people all over the world who may be suffering. Women, just like us, 18, 19, 20 years old going through these horrible experiences and terrified for their life. I believe this book helps us take a look at how life is in other parts of the world. Hopefully this book inspired someone to get involved and help stop femicide.

Written by: Melissa Ullrich WILD VII

GCU Board Member Tessa Breslin – Research in Women Leadership

On April 4th, 2013, Tessa Breslin came to talk to WILD about research in women leadership. During the presentation, I learned a few interesting facts about women in the workforce. For example, companies that excel in their respective markets have more women board members than other companies. Women make up half the work and talent force, but we are not being utilized enough. Part of that has to do with women putting themselves down because they do not think they are good enough. Ms. Breslin went on to tell the WILD women what characteristics a leader of the future needs to have. For one, a leader of the future needs to be contextually aware; she needs to know what is going on in the world around her. Another important characteristic is sensitivity to different cultures, generations, and genders. She also needs to create a culture of trust and openness and be able to collaborate across generations and companies. This information will be very helpful to all of us as we enter the workforce and aim for our goals. We will know the characteristics that a leader of the future needs to have and be able to navigate our ways to a seat on the board of a company. On behalf of all of WILD, I would like to thank Ms. Breslin for taking the time to speak with us about this important topic.

Written by: Caitlin Roman WILD IX

The REAL Me

            On Thursday, February 28th, WILD seniors Shinade Ramirez and Stefannie Nicholson presented what it meant to be a Representation of an Ethical and Authentic Leader (REAL). They told the rest of WILD what it means to be a leader and how important image is. What you look like and how you present yourself is the first thing people see, and they judge you based on that image. Online photos are especially damaging because once they are on the internet, they are there for good. You must always be careful when posting pictures on any social media site. Any inappropriate pictures can come back to haunt you during a job interview. When writing e-mails, it is important to use proper greetings and professional language. No texting lingo and no colloquialisms. To demonstrate proper business casual attire, Shinade and Stefannie set up a mini fashion show. It was definitely beneficial to actually see the difference between what is “hot” and what is “not.” I must admit, I was a little unsure about what qualified as business casual and what was inappropriate for professional events. Seeing other WILD members model different outfits made that distinction clear. This presentation was greatly needed and answered any questions about the professional way to conduct yourself. On behalf of all of WILD, thank you Shinade and Stefannie for a wonderful event.

Written by: Caitlin Roman WILD IX

House of Hope – Servant Leadership

The House of Hope is a non-profit organization through Interfaith Hospitality Network and the Presbyterian Church of Toms River. They help women that have been displaced through domestic violence, loss of a job, etc. and families that can no longer supply sufficient food and clothing for the members of their family.  Georgian Court was asked to bring volunteers from the Women in Leadership Development program on Monday, October 15th from 5pm to 9pm to the Woodlake Country Club in Lakewood for the Night of Hope.  The Night of Hope was a gift auction and Chef inspired food tasting.  Tickets were sold to the community and an estimated 200 people attended the event.  The WILD women were asked to help in serving food and ticket sales for 50/50 and to help navigate the incoming people who needed assistance.  Select WILD women volunteered their time to help those who were less fortunate. Being a leader is a selfless act and for the WILD women who volunteered on October 15th, they did just that. WILD women are the root of selfless volunteerism at Georgian Court University.

Written By: Melissa Farley-Prosperi WILD VIII

“The Keys to a Balanced Life” – Michele Ashley

On Friday, October 5, Michele Ashley came to GCU to talk to us about the Keys to a Balanced Life. I had met Michele at NCCWSL over the summer and had heard this presentation before, but I learned so much more this time around. The most important thing Michele said is that you are the most important thing in your life. If you don’t take care of yourself and know who you are, you rely on someone else to get you going. What happens if someone else isn’t there? You need to take charge of yourself. One of the keys Michele talked about was releasing fears. “Fear,” she said “are just Fact and Expectations Appearing Real.” I found this really interesting. Don’t let facts and expectations hold you back from achieving everything you want to achieve. They are only illusions. One other thing Michele told us that was important is that you need to be flexible. “If you cannot be flexible like a reed, then you will break like an oak.” A reed is able to bear the storm and snap back once it passes. We need to be like a reed. On behalf of all of WILD, I would like to thank Michele for coming to GCU.

Written By: Caitlin Roman WILD IX

In Her Shoes – Providence House

In Her Shoes has to be the most powerful presentation I have ever been to. Following the story of these characters really opened my eyes to the horrible ordeals some people live through. It’s one thing to hear that dating violence and abuse happen, but it’s another thing entirely to experience what someone actually went through. At this presentation, I played the role of the witness; I experienced everything that happened to my character, but I was powerless to do anything to help her. There were so many times I wanted to jump in and scream “No! Don’t do that! Think about it!” It was so frustrating to watch my character struggle and I could not do anything to help her. This presentation really woke me up to the struggles and hardships many teenagers face alone, and I want to do something to help out these teens so they do not feel alone. I would like to thank Providence House from the bottom of my heart for coming to GCU and sharing this experience with WILD.

Written By: Caitlin Roman WILD IX

The President’s Address

 On Tuesday, September 18th at 2 p.m. Georgian Court University began to fill with students, faculty, and staff. Nonetheless, it’s a tradition every year that the President of the University organizes a campus wide conversation for campus feedback. Each year, the topic varies as to what can be done to become an even greater university. There was a slight difference this year…Now what would that be? Georgian Court is preparing to transition into a coeducational University for the fall of 2013.

President Jeffries started off the conversation in a joking matter “I once heard all the good Catholics sit in the back, so why don’t you all fill up the tables in the front?” Everyone began to laugh and the vibe in the room was very much relaxing and at ease. Her presentation started off with the mission statement, strategic initiative and goals, challenges and advantages. Elaborating on our four initiatives and goals, she had the attention of every person in the room. She was very clear on what the goals were for this year: Re-branding Georgian Court to reflect its Mission, Promote Transformative Education , Optimize Enrollment, and strengthen Leadership, planning, Technology, and Governance. As she finished her presentation, she wanted every person in the room to answer two questions; what role do you play in the execution of the goals and objectives of this plan and how we might continue to keep everyone informed and engaged. It’s important to keep up the momentum, but she valued that our input will continue to make the university strategic plan successful.

Anna Mead, (WILD IX) began the campus feedback by elaborating on how the university needs to send the message out to high schools on how leadership is on campus. As an older WILD member, I was truly impressed with how Anna was the first to speak and how many more WILD women began to speak in front of so many people in the Casino. WILD women such as Stefannie Nicholson, Olivia Rotunno, Alexis Domenech, Jazmine Brooks and many more voiced their different opinions and my heart began to smile. President Jeffries took what every person said and again welcomed our suggestions with open arms.

It was a great conversation overall. This may be the last year as an all women’s college but, the university is sure on the right track to become much greater than it already is.

Written By: Shinade Ramirez  WILD VII

Networking with GCU Alumni

“Don’t die with potential.” That’s the main message I took away from the networking session with GCU alumni on Wednesday, September 12th. There is so much out there if we only know where to look. Before the internet, students had to scour the classifieds in the paper in order to find a job. Now, there are handy search engines to help find jobs. Some websites even list skills needed for the job. The alumni also told us that some companies will pay some or all of your school tuition while you work for them because they consider your further education an asset to the company. Imagine going to school and earning a degree for next to nothing! This definitely makes me want to continue my education and possibly get a master’s degree. 

The alumni also talked to us about the co-ed issue. Men exist in the world; that’s no secret. Once we graduate from Georgian Court and start looking for jobs, we will be working with men. Having men on campus in classes with us will give us the opportunity to learn how to interact with this “strange species.” This can help us act more professionally in the future and impress potential bosses. The alumni were beyond helpful and I would like to thank these amazing ladies for taking the time to come talk with us.

Written By: Caitlin Roman WILD IX

Lee Rubin – Athlete Turned Professional Speaker

 On Friday, September 7th, Lee Rubin came to Georgian Court to speak with WILD women about leaders and winners. He opened his presentation with personal information about his life and family. This clever little ice breaker helped make us feel more familiar with Mr. Rubin and made the whole experience more enjoyable. Before he talked about leaders, Mr. Rubin outlined the three characteristics of winners: winners have a clear sense of identity, winners set specific and lofty goals, and winners embrace adversity. It is impossible to reach your full potential if you don’t know who you are. Properly set goals will both steer and drive your behavior. Goals should stretch you in some way or they are not big enough. As Mr. Rubin put it, goals should pass the eyebrow test. If someone’s eyebrows shoot up when you explain your goals, you are on the right track. Everyone faces adversity at some point in their lives, so why run from it? Adversity is just opportunity in disguise. Don’t run or hide from it; embrace it.

When talking about leadership, Mr. Rubin said leadership is about movement. You need to know where you are going or no one will want to follow you. People want to be led on a straight road, not on a winding path. There are three types of obstacles that stop leaders from “winning.” In the “monkey trap,” you are holding onto something from your past and will not let it go. People need to know what’s in it for them. Why would following you benefit them? Last but not least, people quit when they believe they cannot overcome that hardships in front of them. That’s why we need to embrace adversity. Just remember, people don’t fail because they aim too high and miss; they fail in life because they aim too low and hit. On behalf of WILD, I would like to thank Mr. Rubin for his presentation jam-packed with priceless information.

Written By: Caitlin Roman WILD IX