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2018 Women's Leadership Institute


The Women's Leadership Institute aims to enhance leadership abilities, increase awareness of personal skills, and assist women in developing learning strategies to help them create positive sustainable change in their communities.

This FREE conference for UMSL students will address a range of leadership challenges faced by women, including networking, mentorship and career advancement, moving beyond the perceptions of women in the workplace, and thriving in diverse cultures. 

2018 Women's Leadership Institute
Friday, March 16, 2018
Millennium Student Center, 3rd floor

onlineRegister by Friday, March 9, 2018.

Please feel free to contact:
Xavier Blackwell, Coordinator of Leadership Education 


9:30 AM- 10:00 AM Check-In MSC 3rd Floor
10:00 AM-10:50 AM Welcome & Keynote Century Rooms
11:00 AM-11:50 AM Breakout Session #1: Navigating Personal & Professional Life Various Locations
12:00 PM-1:00 PM Networking Lunch MSC 3rd Floor
1:00 PM- 1:50 PM Breakout Session #2: Navigating Perceptions of Women in the Workforce Various Locations
2:00 PM -2:50 PM Breakout Session #3: Navigating Cultural Competencies Various Location
3:00 PM-4:00 PM Closing Panel with Q & A Century Rooms

Each breakout session is 50 minutes long and broken into three main themes:

Keynote Speaker

Keisha Mabry- Session Topic: "Stand Up and Stand Out"

Keisha Mabry is the founder and creator of Hey Friend—a platform that teaches people how to curate and cultivate relationships using a proprietary technique called friendworking. In addition, Keisha is a lecturer at Washington University where she teaches communication and personal branding and a consultant at College Bound where she oversees the implementation and deployment of CoPilot—a college-access student relationship management system.

Prior to serving at College Bound and Washington University, Keisha worked as the Director of Operations at Kipp Inspire Academy, Business Development Manager at Dot Foods and taught 8th-grade science with Teach For America where she received the 2012 Outstanding New Science Teacher of Missouri award.

Keisha is a native of Louisville, Kentucky; she received her B.S. from the University of Kentucky (Magna Cum Laude), her M.B.A. from the University of Louisville (Summa Cum Laude) and her M.Ed. from the University of Missouri – St. Louis (Summa Cum Laude).

Her academic, leadership and volunteer honors consist of the following: Lyman T. Johnson Young Adult Leadership Awardee; Rohm and Haas Volunteer of the Year; Today’s Woman Magazine Way to Go Woman, St. Louis American Foundation Salute to Young Leaders Awardee, Urban League Distinguished Young Professional, Delux Magazine Power 100 + 50 Most Intriguing Women, St. Louis Business Journal’s Innovator in Education, the Young Nonprofit Professional Network’s Young Nonprofit Professional of the Year nominee and more.

Professionally, Keisha serves on the St. Louis Public School Foundation board, the Bill Gates Millennium Scholars Alumni board, the Power Networking Conference Digital Team and is past chair of Teach For America St. Louis’ Collective board—a cohort of alumni committed to transformational leadership, thought-partnership and being agents of change in the St. Louis area. She is also a graduate of the Lance Secretan Higher Ground Leadership program, the Focus St. Louis Emerging Leader program, a member of the Regional Business Council Leadership 100, a New Leaders Council fellow and a St. Louis Business Diversity Initiative fellow. And last but not least, Keisha is an author, a blogger and a contributor for the Huffington Post, Watch the Yard and Blavity.

Personally, she enjoys consulting, writing, volunteering, mentoring youth, spending time with family and friends, biking and yoga. Her personal mission statement is to change the world one connection at a time.

A special thanks to UMSL's Women's Giving Circle for sponsoring the 2017 Women's Leadership Institute. 


Check out a few of the presentations highlighted at the 2017 Women's Leadership Institute:


Women's Leadership Panel Members

Jenna Norman, Recruitment and Marketing Specialist

Jenna is originally from Tulsa, Oklahoma and relocated to the St. Louis area to attend Saint Louis University in 2013. While earning her Bachelor of Arts in Public Relations, she had several internships in the metro area. Her senior year, she joined Northwestern Mutual - Chesterfield Valley as a Recruiting and Marketing Intern. Upon her graduation in May 2017, she joined the team full-time. Jenna works to support the Selection Team as well as each financial representative. She develops and implements tailored marketing plans to help each advisor build their business and the Northwestern Mutual brand. While not at work, Jenna enjoys traveling, cooking and volunteering on several young professional boards.

Tiffany Reed: Social Justice and Diversity Inclusion, Maryville University

Originally from Gary, Indiana, Tiffany Reed began her journey in student affairs at Indiana University Purdue University (IUPUI), receiving her BS in criminal justice and later receiving her MA in higher education at Rowan University. In her role at Maryville, she serves as advisor for the Association for Black Collegians, Inclusion at Maryville, Latino Student Alliance and Hawaiian Asian Pacific Islander Association student organizations. She also supports the University’s strategic plan Initiatives focused on diversity and inclusion through workshops and trainings. Reed is passionate about cultural competency and creating a space for all students and their journey here at Maryville, and as well as the St. Louis community in regards to diversity and inclusion.

Eboni Sterling: Academic Coach, University of Missouri- St. Louis

Meet Eboni: education enthusiast, lover of the arts and a firm believer in paying it forward. Prior to her role as an MSS Academic Coach and Peer Mentor coordinator, Eboni served as an Academic Advisor for UMSL College of Education. A two-time graduate of the University of Missouri-St. Louis, many moons ago Eboni earned a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education and a Master of Education from UMSL. Eboni has lived the UMSL experience a decade to date as both student and staff. She is unrelenting in her quest for holistic student development and has an overriding interest in student success. Her roots at UMSL are credited to the Welcome Center, where she began as a tour guide in 2008.The rest is history unfolding.

Lisa Lidgus: Conservation and Education Liaison, St. Louis Zoo

Lisa Lidgus is a Conservation Education Liaison at the Saint Louis Zoo and has worked at the Zoo for almost 17 years. With a B.A. in Zoology, her background in both conservation education and animal husbandry led her into the field of exhibit design. Lisa coordinates the Zoo’s official partnerships with several Northwest coastal Alaska Native villages to create innovative and groundbreaking Zoo exhibit interpretation. Through this interpretation development, Lisa and the Zoo community are able to support Alaska Native community priorities like food security advocacy, climate change mitigation efforts, and education opportunities all focused back to Alaska Native youth. Lisa’s role in this valued partnership has helped her grow into a successful leader, advocate, and conservationist.

Carlie Lavin: Program Coordinator, Saint Louis University

Carlie is a proud alumna of Saint Louis University, where she received her Bachelor of Arts in Communications with an emphasis in Public Relations from the College of Arts and Sciences. After graduating from SLU, Carlie attended Iowa State University where she received an M.Ed. in Higher Education Student Affairs, with a focus on Leadership and Learning. In case her love for SLU wasn't a good enough reason for her favorite colors to be Blue and White, Carlie is also an alumna of Alpha Delta Pi sorority. She currently serves as a volunteer for the international organization. Carlie returned to SLU as a Program Coordinator in August 2017. Her responsibilities include: Advising the Student Activities Board, Co-advising the Involvement Ambassadors, Facilitating the Billikens Lead Program, Supervision of the Billikens After Dark graduate assistant, Supervision of student workers