University Women’s Council Celebration


Morgan Fuerstenberg graphic

The University Women’s Council held their annual “Celebration of Strength and Wisdom in Women” conference in the Markee Pioneer Student Center on March 16. The event was sponsored through the Wisconsin Women in Higher Education Leadership Grant.

Former Provost Carol Sue Butts created the Women’s Council in 2003. The celebration began in 2009, which later turned into an annual event by 2017. The Council takes this time to have a keynote speaker and to announce the “University Women’s Council Dr. Sue Butts Outstanding Woman of the Year” award and the “Student Woman of the Year” award nominees.

“(The Women’s Council aims to) raise issues about and to make sure women on campus have support,” Senior Program Manager for Women in STEM Programs Kim Sargent said. Sargant emphasized that the celebration includes all genders, as the event is made for everyone to come together, and support women’s causes.

The event began with University Women’s Council Chair, Ari Ihm, expressing the main goal of the celebration as “to share the various stories of strength and wisdom as women working in higher education … it provides the opportunity to come together to encourage, support, celebrate and to empower each other.”

After the introduction, Interim Chancellor, Dr. Tammy Evetovich, was the featured keynote speaker. Evetovich described authentic leadership and transparency with women and how women leaders can be discouraged to show both qualities, especially in the workplace.

Evetovich later received the “University Women’s Council Dr. Carol Sue Butts Outstanding Woman of the Year” award for attending multiple events on campus, building relationships with students and creating connections on and off campus among other qualifications of the award.

“Student Woman of the Year” nominees include: Carly Jacquart, Isabelle Emerson, Isabelle Sander, Kate Wright, Lillian Dickerson, Lymari Powe, Madalyn Kawleski, Maggie Nelson, Rebekah Poh and Savannah Tunks. The winner of the award will be announced on April 28 in Velzy Commons.

After the main presentation, Coordinator for the Doyle Center for Gender and Sexuality Annie Steffen, student Beck Hanner, Associate Professor and Women’s and Gender Studies Program Coordinator Dr. Dong Isbister, student Favour Butterfield, Assistant Professor and Agribusiness Program Coordinator, Dr. Lucie Kadjo, student Olivia Schweiger and Associate Athletic Director for Compliance and Student-Athlete Services Ryanne Breckenridge, were all invited to lead a panel discussion to talk about their experiences and struggles of being a woman on campus and in society. The audience were also asked to provide questions for the panel.

The event closed with an opportunity for people to network with one another and establish connections through the council and the panelists.

The University Women’s Council’s “Celebration of Strength and Wisdom in Women” is an annual event that will continue next year.