I have been fairly busy lately with school and extra curricular activities. The next couple of blogs will feature recent events, and then I will backtrack to London and the remaining European and UK travel, I promise.
After spring break, I added a GRE class (6 hours a week) for Graduate school to my schedule, which has left me exhausted. Finally finished this week.
Several weeks ago I gave a study abroad/Gilman Scholarship (Department of State) presentation in a UCOL class for non-traditional students. This week I volunteered for the Education Abroad fair at UNCC and it was great to catch up with my fellow study abroad pals, as well as finish my community follow-up projects for Gilman.
On Monday, I attended a lecture by Dr. Ken Menkhaus, a professor of Political Science at Davidson College. He specializes on development, conflict analysis, peace operations, state failure, and more in the Horn of Africa. He has served as a political advisor in the UN Operation in Somalia, and as a consultant for the U.S. government, non-governmental organizations, and policy research institutes. Basically, he is one of the most sought after experts on Somalia, which is one of the areas of Africa that I focus on, so it was a great opportunity for me to get a lot of updated information in a short period of time.
But the most exciting event by far, was the Women’s Summit that took place yesterday. The even went from 7:30am to 3:30pm, but was well worth the time. One of the keynote speakers was Dee Dee Myers, the first female White House Press Secretary and author of “Why Women Should Rule The World.” She’s a great speaker and offered great advice during the Q&A session. Another speaker, Jill Flynn, who wrote “Break Your Own Rules,” offered 6 rules for women in the workplace, and how women need to interact with male counterparts in order to compete in business. Another great speaker was Sharon Matthews a SVP at Wells Fargo Bank. I also attended two breakout sessions, one focused on how to get on corporate, government and nonprofit boards. The second session, women in politics, featured speakers Amy Chiou (campaign specialist), Charlotte City Council member LaWanda Mayfield, and Huntersville Mayor Jill Swain. I found the sessions very helpful.
The final speaker was North Carolina Governor Bev Perdue. Now, I would not call myself a fan of the governor and often disagree with her policies, and yes, she is a democrat. Contrary to popular belief, I do not always tow the party line. But, I was impressed with her speech. She spoke about education reform and availability and also equal rights for everyone. I found myself wishing that she had made decisions more inline with this speech during her term in office (she is not running for re-election). She did indicate that a lot of what has occurred resulted from decisions made by local government. Her frustration was evident and she said that she would leave office so that she can acquire a job that will allow her to focus on education, which sounds like a win-win for everyone.