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Institute Programs

To support its goal of increasing the number of women in government-policy- making positions, the Institute sponsors programs to provide individuals with the tools they need to be successful. Workshops focus on skill building for greater effectiveness (leadership skills, communication skills, networking, etc...) as well as topics that help individuals understand the process of seeking and capitalizing on opportunities to influence public policy. Brief descriptions of past programs are listed below. Programs of the Sue Shear Institute are open to participants regardless of race, gender, ethnicity, national origin, religion or political party affiliation. Information on upcoming events will be posted on this site regularly. If you have any specific questions about the programs listed, please contact the Institute at 314-516-4727.

Pipeline to Public Office

"Pipeline to Public Office" is a two-day workshop offered to help individuals enter the "pipeline" to public office. A training class for candidates and campaign workers, Pipeline addresses topics such as:

Faculty for the program include Democratic and Republican women officeholders and women who have managed successful political campaigns.

Candidate Training Workshops

In addition to the Pipeline to Public Office program, the Institute hosts campaign training workshops offering detailed instruction and tips for running successful campaigns. Led by women who have successfully campaigned for office and experienced campaign workers, the workshops provide candidates with concrete suggestions for successful campaign planning, fund raising, canvassing, voter targeting, and other related issues. The "Pipeline to Local Office" campaign workshop is offered each spring for municipal candidates, and "Pipeline to Legislative Office" is offered in May of election years for candidates facing primary opposition in races for the State Legislature. An advanced campaign skills workshop is offered in August of election years to help candidates prepare for general election contests. Candidates are encouraged to bring a team of campaign workers. Individuals interested in learning more about political campaigns are invited to participate as well.

Nearly 50 percent of the candidates who have participated in Institute campaign workshops have gone on to win their elections. Distinguished alumni of the workshops include:

Kimberly Baker, Maryland Heights City Council '12
Judy Baker, State Representative '04
Susan Baker, Wildwood City Council '01
Gerry Biedenstein, Kirkwood City Council '08
Joanne Boulton, Clayton Board of Alderman '12
Rashda "Sonny" Buttar, Clayton School Board '05
Helen Casteel, Parkway School Board '06
Maria Chappelle-Nadal, State Representative '04, State Senator '10, University City School Board '10
Carolyn Chrisman, Kirksville City Council '09
Herbert "Pepper" Clifton, Normandy School Board '11
Vicki Englund, State Representative '08, '12, Lindbergh School Board '11
Hazel Erby, St. Louis County Council '04
Sally Faith, State Representative '04, Mayor of City of St. Charles '11
Joan Esserman, Webster Groves City Council '06
Kathlyn Fares, State Representative '00
Margaret Faul, Ferguson City Council '06
Barbara Fraser, State Representative '98, St. Louis County Council '06
Pam Fogarty, Mayor of Dardenne Prairie '03
Darlene Green, City of St. Louis Comptroller '96
Camille Greenwald, Richmond Heights City Council '04
Nancy Greenwood, Chesterfield City Council '13
Krystal Hargis, Jefferson College Board of Trustees '01
Michelle Harris, Clayton Board of Alderman '12
Melissa Hattman, St. Louis Community College Board of Trustees '08
Nancy Hartman, Normandy School Board '05
Cheryl Hermann, Fox C-6 School Board '00
Gail Holcomb, Wildwood City Council, '99 '01
Monica Huddleston, Mayor Greendale, '11
Barbara Hughes, Town & Country Board of Aldermen '00
Beckie Jacobs, Olivette City Council '00
Gina Jaksetic, Kirkwood City Council '08
Katherine Jepsen, Brentwood Board of Aldermen '04
Connie Johnson, State Representative '00
Donna Jones, St. Louis School Board '06
Margie Jones, Country Club Hills Board of Alderman '12
Tishaura Jones, State Representative '08, Treasurer of City of St. Louis '12
*Connie Karr, Kirkwood City Council '02
Mary Kennedy, Board of Directors, Subdistrict 4, Public Water Supply Dist. 1 of Jefferson County '04
Kathy Keraglon, Ballwin Board of Alderman '12
Jane Klamer, Clayton School Board '06
Sara Lampe, State Representative '04
Nancy Luetzow, Kirwood City Council '12
Theresa Lynch, Creve Coeur City Council '03
Audrey Mack, Ladue School Board '03
Jill McCord, Kirksville City Council '06
Joan McGivney, St. Louis Community College Trustee '12
Joyce McRath, Normandy School Board '09
Dee Mogerman, Parkway School Board '05
Genise Montecillo, State Representative '10
Julie Morgan, Mayor of Rock Hill '06
Donna Morrow, Mayor of O'Fallon, MO '05
Stacey Newman, State Representative '09
Mary Ohms, St. Charles City Council '11
Pat Piotrowicz, Hazelwood City Council '03
Karen Pierre, Greendale City Council '06
Andrew Podleski, Florissant City Council '08
Stephanie Renolds, Valley Park Board of Aldermen '08
Lynn Ricci, University City City Council '07
Sherri Rodgers, Rockwood School Board '12
Debi Salberg, Webster Groves City Council '08
Vicki Schneider, State Representative '02
Ann Schroeder, Franklin County Commissioner '00
Jill Schupp, State Representative '08
Sandy Sobelman, Mayor of Frontenac, '01; Board of Aldermen '00
Churie Spreng, State Representative '10
Ruth Springer, Olivette City Council '05
Kristina Starr, Meramec Valley School Board '05
Rachel Storch, State Representative '04
Carol Stroker, Hazelwood City Council '13
Maggie Strong, Northwoods Board of Aldermen '13
Shirley Taylor, Dellwood City Council '06
Doris Trojcak, Greendale Board of Alderman '11
Anne Tolan, Webster Groves City Council '08
Kacie Starr Triplett, City of St. Louis Board of Aldermen '04
Dana Valley, Greendale City Council '12
Terri Violet, City of St. Peters Board of Alderman '13
Missy Waldman, Olivette City Council '00; 01
Juanita Walton, State Representative '00
Karen Webster, Ladue School Board '04
Shelley Welsch, Mayor of University City '10; City Council '02
Hope Whitehead, State Representative '10
Connie Williams, Richmond Heights City Council '06
Patricia Zahn, Affton School Board '12


The Inside Scoop on Appointments to Boards and Commissions

"Inside Scoop" is a program designed to give those interested in serving on public boards and commissions an opportunity to hear from the government officials responsible for identifying appropriate appointment candidates. Presenters for previous seminars have included representatives from the Governor's Office and the Mayor's offices in Kansas City and St. Louis.

Faculty members addressed the expectations of board service, how the selection process works, what qualifications are desired, and how public policy is impacted by decisions of boards and commissions.

21st Century Leadership Academy

The 21st Century Leadership Academy is a week-long leadership development program for Missouri college students that emphasizes the role public policy plays in our lives. This residential program is held at the UM-St. Louis Pierre Laclede Honors College and includes daily interactive sessions with women leaders who are currently impacting policy as elected officials, government leaders and policy advocates. Shear Fellows also visit the Missouri State Capitol to meet with state leaders and women involved in the legislative process, and participate in a mock legislative session. The program includes a keynote dinner featuring a well known woman public policy leader. The dinner is open to interested community members.

LEAD program

LEAD program was established in 2010 to support and encourage the civic engagement of students at UMSL, and instill in them a passion for women’s public sector leadership.  The curriculum is delivered through 8-10 activities that are held over the course of the fall semester.  In addition to facilitating a sense of community among female student leaders on campus, the LEAD program provides students with an opportunity to develop and practice leadership skills that can be applied to the campus community and beyond.  Specifically, LEAD participants gain self-confidence through training in negotiation and networking skills, increased understanding of their leadership strengths, and interactions with women leaders.  In addition to the women leaders they meet through the LEAD program, students are strongly encouraged to participate in the Women’s University Mentoring Project during the spring semester following their LEAD experience.  Funding for LEAD is provided through a grant from the Women’s Leadership Council at UMSL.