All posts by Samantha Walther

Introducing the Interns for the 2019 Empowering Women in Business Conference

Hosting the ninth annual Empowering Women in Business Conference, the Institute for Women’s Leadership is proud to announce our two student interns who will help coordinate, market, network, and manage the event. The Empowering Women in Business Conference invites women leaders from the local community and our Nichols network to gain inspiration from our diverse series of presenters and keynote speaker. The conference offers a collection of sessions and networking opportunities designed by business leaders, educators, and Nichols students to provide attendees the opportunity to enhance their own business skills, individual growth, and career focus.

The student internship is a great opportunity for two Nichols students to bring their marketing skills, ideas, and leadership abilities to life. The interns are given the opportunity to design their own marketing and promotion plan, build the networking outreach opportunities, and recruit, assign, and supervise the mass number of volunteers needed for the conference to be a continued success.  The interns for the 2019 Empowering Women in Business Conference are Sachelle Mercado ’20 and Lynn Thibault ’20.

2019 EWIB Interns Sachelle Mercado and Lynn Thibault.
2019 EWIB Interns Sachelle Mercado and Lynn Thibault.

Both Sachelle and Lynn are members of class of 2020. Sachelle, who is originally from Worcester, Massachusetts is majoring in General Business. When asking Sachelle about what motivated her to apply for the position, she wrote “I am a member of the Institute for Women’s Leadership Student Panel, the Hospitality Club, and the Secretary of the International Affairs Organization. I applied to be an intern for the Empowering Women in Business Conference because I wanted to learn backstage what it’s like to plan an event, as well as execute it, but also be a part of an amazing conference that shows women (and men) how empowering women can be in many ways. This is a great opportunity and one that I would not pass out on.”

Originally from Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Lynn Thibault is a majoring in Marketing at Nichols, and joins the team as the marketing intern for this year’s conference. Lynn is currently a Student Ambassador for the Office of Admissions, a Peer Mentor in the NEXT Student Support Program, and a Panel Member of the Institute for Women’s Leadership.

Lynn shares that she applied for this internship because “When I volunteered at the conference during my freshmen year at Nichols, I found that it was an event that was very inspiring and necessary in our community. This conference essentially creates a sisterhood, allowing women to connect with, support and empower one another, and I have witnessed the great things that can happen when women come together and uplift each other. This conference also cultivates a learning environment where female business-owners can learn how to not only thrive in their businesses and professional endeavors, but also navigate their personal lives. All in all, this event equips well-rounded entrepreneurs with all the tools and connections that they need to succeed in the business world. This is something that I just had to be a part of, and I am very excited to join the team!”

This year’s conference takes place on Thursday, April 4, 2019 from 12:45- 6pm. Not only does the event provide great opportunities to hear from successful business leaders, but attendees will also have time to shop with local vendors and network. The Institute for Women’s Leadership and the Conference Committee is also excited to announce that this year’s Keynote Speaker is Mary Carlomagno, a best-selling author, organizer, and spokesperson specializing in helping individuals embrace simplicity and organize their everyday lives to better achieve balance and live stress free. For more information or to purchase tickets to the conference visit or contact Rachel Ferreira at

Spring 2019 Event Schedule

We hope you will join us at our events this semester!
Email reminders with details will be sent to students prior to each event. Please email with any questions.

Updated 3/6/2019

Screen Shot 2019-01-22 at 1.16.55 PM

Screen Shot 2019-01-22 at 1.24.00 PM

  • Women’s Recruitment Overnight Dinner~Sunday, January 27, 2019, 12:00PM-2:00PM. Athletics hosts future female athletes on campus. IWL will provide an introduction of the program and its benefits.
  • IWL Student Advisory Panel Meeting~Sunday, January 27, 2019, 5:30PM-7:00PM. Monthly meeting for the 2018-2019 panel to plan the semester.
  • Film Series: On the Basis of Sex ~Tuesday, January 28, 2019, 5:00PM-7:00PM Blackstone Valley Theatre. Students are invited to join the IWL to see On the Basis of Sex, centered on the life of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, on her rise to one of the most powerful positions in the U.S. Registration Required. Email for registration info. 

Screen Shot 2019-01-22 at 1.24.08 PM

  • Black History Month Installation in collaboration with the Office of Diversity & Inclusion~February 1-8, 2019 Fels Student Center. ODI and IWL will host an interactive installation on campus where students can engage in a visual representation of their experiences with racism and discrimination. This installation will be reflecting on the progress made throughout history.    
  • MA Historical Society Mentioning Unmentionables; an Exploration of Victorian Underclothes~ Monday, February 4, 2019, 12:30-7pm Boston, MA. Period textile specialist Astrida Schaeffer will present her talk on the fashion in the 19th century and how women challenged the stereotype of tiny-waisted, fainting Victorian women, sharing the critics of these trends, and the illusions that made waists seem smaller than they were. Vans will depart for Boston at 12:30, talk starts at 5:30pm. Email for registration info. *In collaboration with the History Department*
  • Workshop: “Building Your Executive Presence”~ Wednesday, February 13, 2019, 3:45-5:30pm Davis 201/203. Successful leaders often have what is called “Executive Presence” (EP). EP is an “it” factor that helps people project confidence, command a room, and influence others. Developing your EP can be a career game changer. To break down EP and explain why it’s so important, IWL, ELP, and Fischer Institute welcome Executive Career Coach and Leadership Consultant, Diane Wilbur. In an interactive workshop, Diane will show powerful communication and body language strategies to strengthen your EP and identify what might be holding you back.  Registration required. Email for registration info. *In collaboration with the Fischer Institute and Emerging Leaders Program*
  • Awareness Event~Thursday, February 14, 2019, 12:00PM-2:00PM Fels Student Center. Why you don’t have a date on Valentine’s Day: highlighting offensive pickup lines used towards women and raising awareness on how to avoid them. 
  • Workshop: Women to Watch in Accounting~Wednesday February 20, 2019, 4:00pm-5:30pm IWL. The IWL and the Accounting Department are hosting an interactive workshop with current female students and alumni who have excelled in the field of Accounting. The panel will feature Kaitlyn Baron ‘19 and Nicole Zheng ‘19, who will discuss their experiences as Accounting majors, their successes, and struggles being a female in a heavily male-dominated sector of work and education. 
  • Awareness Event~Thursday, February 21, 2019, 12:00PM-2:00PM Fels Student Center. Highlighting the wage gap and demand for equal pay for equal work for Asian women. 
  • Film Series: The Secret Life of Bees~Thursday, February 21, 2019, 4:30PM-6:00PM IWL. A coming of age tale for young Lily Owens in the rural, segregated south in 1964 takes a surprising twist when the right to vote lands her and her beloved housekeeper, Rosaleen, in a perilous situation involving a life-threatening conflict.  
  • IWL Student Advisory Meeting~Sunday, February 24, 2019, 5:00PM-6:00PM IWL. Mandatory monthly meeting for the 2018-2019 panel members.

Screen Shot 2019-01-22 at 1.24.13 PM

  • Women’s History Month Installation~ All Month LongCampus-wide photo installation, with quotes from students and faculty about the range of things they have been told they cannot achieve due to their gender.  There will also be references to historical women who have served as an inspiration. 
  • MOM: Misconceptions of Motherhood presented by Sophia Prouty~Thursday, March 7, 2019, 3:45pm-5:00pm                 Sophia Prouty presents findings on how working single moms are experiencing poverty at an alarming rate compared to their counterparts. Discussion to follow.
  • Women’s History Month Showcase: Clara Barton~Wednesday, March 13, 2019, 3:45PM-5:00PM Daniels Auditorium. To celebrate Women’s History Month, Professor Emily Thomas will provide a historical narrative about this pioneering nurse who founded the American Red Cross.*In collaboration with the Fischer Institute*
  • College Connection Mentoring Program Part II~ Friday, March 15, 2019, 8:00AM-2:00PM Daniels Auditorium. Nichols student volunteers spend the day mentoring a group of high school juniors on envisioning their future, networking, and assertive communication.
  • IWL Student Advisory Meeting ~Sunday, March 24, 2019, 5:00PM-6:00PM IWL. Mandatory monthly meeting for the 2018-2019 panel.  
  • Campus Leadership Summit~Sunday, March 31, 2019, 1:00PM-6:00PM Academic Building. Planned in conjunction with the Emerging Leaders Program, students apply to be part of a day of professional development and brainstorming. Designed to bring together student leaders from a variety of areas on campus.*In collaboration with the Emerging Leaders Program*

Screen Shot 2019-01-22 at 1.24.18 PM

  • Awareness Week~April 1-5, 2019. Events highlighting women’s issues focusing on the gender wage gap and demand for equal pay for equal work for women.  Based around the National Equal Pay Day on April 2nd, 2019. National Equal Pay Day is symbolic of how far into the year women must work to in order to earn what men did in the previous year. *The week’s events will be announced shortly*
  • Empowering Women in Business Conference~Thursday, April 4, 2019, 12:00PM-6:00PM Daniels Auditorium. Nichols College presents its ninth annual conference, welcoming professional women in the region for networking, skill building, and inspiration.  Visit for more information. Registration is required. Email for registration info. 
  • Women in Sport Panel~Thursday, April 4, 2019, 10:30AM-11:30AM. Nichols College’s Sport Management faculty present a diverse group of professional women who work in various positions within sport.  This panel will allow female students studying Sport Management to explore career options with a sport background.*In collaboration with Sport Management Dept.* 
  • History and Evolution of Women’s Clothing~Thursday, April 11, 2019, 3:45PM-5:30PM IWL. IWL and Professor Thomas introduce women’s fashion in the 19th century, reform, dressing demonstration, etc. *In collaboration with the History Department*
  • Conversation Project~Thursday,  April 16,  2019, 12:00PM-1:00PM IWLGuest: Entrepreneur Leanne Mai-ly Hilgart is the founder of Vaute, the world’s first all-vegan fashion brand whose mission is to take animals out of the fashion equation.  Vaute works with organic and recycled fibers to create a high-end clothing line. Registration is required. Email for registration info.*In collaboration with the Fischer Institute*
  • Negotiation Workshop~Thursday, April 18, 2018, 4-6:30pm IWL. In partnership with the American Association of University Women, female Nichols students will be trained in assertive, respectful salary negotiation techniques, in an effort to help decrease the gender wage gap. Dinner will be provided. Limited seats; registration required. Email for registration info. 
  • Student Brand Fashion Show in Partnership with MOD Friday April 19, 2019- 8:30-11:30pm Daniels Auditorium In collaboration with Men of Distinction, IWL will help host an on campus fashion show highlighting several different student-founded and run fashion brands.

Screen Shot 2019-01-22 at 1.24.25 PM

  • Farewell Reception for the Class of 2019~Tuesday, May 7, 2019, 5:00PM-7:00PM. Faculty and staff are invited to bring a guest of the senior class for cocktail and hors d’oeuvres reception.  

Kavanaugh Hearing Campus Discussion Review

Written by Sophia Prouty ’21, edited by IWL Staff

In response to the controversial sexual assault accusations against now Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, the Institute for Women’s Leadership sponsored an open forum discussion open to all students and faculty. Brett Kavanaugh was nominated by President Trump to replace retiring Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy on July 9th, 2018. Nearly two months later during the onset of confirmation hearings, a letter written by Dr. Christine Blasey Ford accusing Kavanaugh of sexually assaulting her in high school, surfaced in The New Yorker. After garnering national attention, the confirmation vote was postponed in order to allow both Dr. Ford and Brett Kavanaugh to testify regarding the accusations. The issue quickly became politically charged, with many questions regarding the intent of Dr. Ford’s accusations, as well as questions regarding Kavanaugh’s character. The IWL decided to host a discussion in order to allow all thoughts, opinions, and questions to be heard. We feel it is important to acknowledge and engage with the most pressing political and social issues facing our country, especially those that also affect the Nichols campus, such as sexual assault. It is critical that even in pressing and politically charged times, we as a campus are able to come together to discuss controversial issues, no matter the divide among political, ideological, social, or any other lines. Below is a reflection of the discussion by Nichols student Sophia Prouty:

This year, the IWL decided to hold a discussion to speak about a controversial topic; the sexual assault scandal revolving around then Supreme Court Justice Nominee Brett Kavanaugh. Was he guilty? Was Dr. Ford, one of his accusers, a liar? And is Kavanaugh fit for the Supreme Court? These few questions came with many different answers from people across the nation. Many believed Kavanaugh is innocent and that this scandal should have not even been brought up. Others believe Dr. Ford and that the nation needs to start believing women when they come forward with stories of sexual assault and rape. Others had no idea what to think, for there is no evidence from either party.

Many questions were brought up during the investigation that seemed to be what a lot of this country was asking. One question that I have heard from many students on Nichols campus was why did Dr. Ford come forward over 30 years later? The discussion revealed that talking about a traumatizing event that happened to you, whether it was yesterday or 40 years ago, is not easy to talk about. You have to go back to that moment that is glued to your memory forever and try to tell people your story without breaking down. This is not an easy task. One professor in the discussion pointed out that back in the 80’s, sexual assault was not something people came forward about. Unfortunately, if something had happened to you, you sucked it up and moved on. This is something that many in the room had not thought about.

Another topic that was discussed was how Dr. Ford and Kavanaugh behaved during their testimonies. Several people were quick to point out that Dr. Ford could not behave the way Kavanaugh behaved because she would have been called crazy, or worse. But was Kavanaugh’s yelling and rudeness during the testimony okay? Many people say his yelling was okay because he has right to be mad if he truly is innocent, but how did the way he spoke about Democrats and to people asking him questions not raise any red flags? Was asking Senator Klobuchar if she has ever blacked out okay instead of answering her question? The crowd in the room seemed to agree that this behavior was inappropriate and not suitable for a Supreme Court justice.

Many other topics were discussed during the event as well. These included questions like “how did Trump nominate somebody with so much baggag?” “What does this scandal teach the children in this country?” “How reliable are Kavanaugh’s calendars?” and “Is there a possible other motive for Dr. Ford coming forward besides wanting to let Senators know that they could possibly be allowing an assaulter to have a seat on the highest court in this country?”

There are no definite answers to these questions, but the group believed that this could negatively impact the minds of children who hear of the case. Many questioned whether this will lead to less people coming forward Hopefully not.

After a week-long FBI investigation looking into Dr. Ford’s allegations, there was no evidence found to prove what she was saying is true. The FBI did not speak to any of the parties involved. However, after a heart-wrenching testimony from Dr. Ford and questionable behavior from Kavanaugh, Kavanaugh was appointed to the Supreme Court. Was this a loss for the nation, or possibly a spark of inspiration for more and more people who believe Dr. Ford’s story is true to go out and vote on November 6th? We will have to wait and see what happens on Election Day.

Having a discussion about the Kavanaugh sexual assault allegations is important to have on a college campus. This is because sexual assault is a problem not just at Nichols College, but every college campus in the world. Discussions like these can help to inspire young men and women to come forward about their experiences. The IWL at Nichols College wants to help educate men and women on college campuses that coming forward about a traumatic experiences. The college has many resources to help students and taking advantage of these resources is okay. Plus, this discussion begged for another question to be answered: What can we at Nichols do to help prevent assault and rape form occurring on this campus and help make students feel more comfortable? The answer may not be in making students have an online lesson and take a quiz at the beginning of their freshmen year or being spoken to about it once or twice because many students are not paying attention or forget about it by the next week. Suggestions from students in the discussion were: perhaps a student run organization could help make people feel more comfortable about coming forward about their experiences? It may be easier for a student to come forward to somebody their age that can relate to them more than a professor or staff here at the campus. Further, a student organization could help raise awareness on what assault is and how to prevent it from happening.