All posts by Samantha Walther

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

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  • 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. 

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  • 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.

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  • 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*

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

Meet the 2018-19 Student Panel

The Institute for Women’s Leadership is excited to introduce our 15 Panelists for this year’s Student Panel!

Student panel members are selected via application and volunteer to work many of the IWL events throughout the school year. Being apart of the panel also gives members the ability to turn their creativity and ideas into action. By working with Rachel and Sam, panelists have the ability to create events surrounding issues facing women that they feel are relevant and should be addressed. The IWL offers two trips for panel members to NYC and Boston. This year panel members have the opportunity to visit the United Nations, the Empire State Building, and the opening night of the Massachusetts Conference for Women. Further, our panel members are great resources for other students on campus who may need extra inspiration and motivation to realize their full potential. Through negotiation workshops, mentoring high school students, conversation projects, and other events, our panel members are encouraged to branch out of their comfort zone, embrace who they truly are and be confident in their own skin, in order to form strong connections and networks with current working professionals, as well as to inspire current students.

First off, we have Izzy Portt! Izzy is a freshman at Nichols this year and intends to major in Criminal Justice. Originally from Ontario Canada, she is also a part of the varsity women’s ice hockey team and a member of the Criminal Justice Club. Izzy says she joined the IWL as she feels “it is very important to ensure the continued promotion of equal opportunity for women on campus.” Her goal this year is to positively change campus, with a fresh insight on empowering the community of Nichols women!

Izzy Port '22
Izzy Port ’22

Next up, we have senior James Singletary from Marlborough, Massachusetts. James joins the IWL as only the second male panel member since the institutes founding. A well recognized leader on Nichols campus, James is also a member of Men of Distinction, Big Brothers Big Sisters, and the Emerging Leaders Program. As a Criminal Justice and Management and Accounting double major, James currently works as a gang unit investigator for the Worcester County Jail, in addition to his position as a writing fellow and peer tutor for the Academic Resource Center at Nichols. James joined the IWL “to bridge the gap between men’s and women’s issues and become an advocate for equality amongst my peers and genders.” His goal for the year is to inspire students to translate their personal, academic, and professional visions into reality.

James Singletary '19
James Singletary ’19

Bridget Canavan is a member of the sophomore class, joining Nichols from her hometown of Dudley, Massachusetts. Majoring in International Business with a minor is Communications; Bridget is widely involved across campus. She is a member of the Emerging Leaders Program, Meditation Club, and NicholsReads, as well as the President of the Harry Potter Club and Vice- President of International Business Club. Her favorite quote is “Girls should never be afraid to be smart,” by Emma Watson. Bridget tells that she finds this quote to be important “because when I was younger I played down my intelligence because I was a female and felt like that is how girls were meant to be. As I’ve grown up I’ve realized that was not the case, you shouldn’t be afraid to know things and speak your opinion. From this quote I’ve learned to embrace the fact that I am an intelligent woman and can push myself to my fullest. A goal she has for this school year is to spend more time with her friends.

Sophia Prouty '21 and Bridget Canavan '21 pictured at the Worcester Business Journal's Outstanding Women in Business Conference in Worcester, MA.
Sophia Prouty ’21 and Bridget Canavan ’21 pictured at the Worcester Business Journal’s Outstanding Women in Business Conference in Worcester, MA.

Next, we have a member of the sophomore class- Sophia Prouty. Sophia joined Nichols from Thompson, Connecticut and currently majors in International Business. A returning panelist, she is also a member of the Emerging Leaders Program and Vice-President of the History Club. Sophia tells that she joined the IWL “so that I could have a voice and easily speak to everybody on campus on issues that women face everyday and how we can fix them. IWL is important for that reason and has many inspiring young women in the program. Her goal is to achieve straight A’s this school year!

A member of the senior class, Marshalee Johnson joins Nichols from Natick, Massachusetts. She is majoring in Management with a minor in International Business. A returning IWL Panelist, Marsha is also the Supervisor for the Admissions Call Center, a member of the Emerging Leaders program, a member of the cheerleading team, and ACC Bison. Marsha says she joined the IWL because she is “eager for change and wanted to be apart of a group of women who had similar interests. Advocacy is a powerful tool and I wanted to be apart of a group that advocates for an issue to be paid attention to as that’s often where change starts. Being a part of the panel I have access and visibility to women who have great ideas of how to go about changing the way women are looked at and treated. I am truly grateful to be given the opportunity of being on the panel for a second year as it has provided me with opportunities to network with other people, mentor and make connections that will not only educate me on women’s rights and issues but will also prepare me to help bring about future change.” One of Marsha’s personal goals for this year is to get our of her comfort zone, focusing on herself and her confidence!

Marsha Johnson '19 and Mercy Jubin '20 pictured with Shayna Seymour Carr at the 2019 Massachusetts Conference for Women in Boston, MA.
Marsha Johnson ’19 and Lexxus Andrews ’20 pictured with Shayna Seymour Carr at the 2018 Massachusetts Conference for Women in Boston, MA.

Mercy Jubin is currently a member of the sophomore class majoring in Human Resource Management with a minor is Psychology. Originally from Ghana, Mercy tells a unique story as to why she feels the IWL is empowering. Her favorite quote that embodies why she joined the IWL is “some women fear the fire, some women simply become it.” R.H. Sin. Mercy feels that “we live in a world where confidence is quite low among women. I’ve quickly found out that it’s either you become the fire, or get burned; and so my hope now is to attempt to bring the fire to others in hopes of making other women realize their potential and confidence. Her goal for the school year is to grasp as much knowledge as she can in order to achieve good grades and continue to make more connections on Nichols campus.

Our second freshman to introduce is Alicia Hunks from Georgetown, Ontario. Also a member of the women’s ice hockey team, Alicia plans on majoring in Accelerated Accounting. Alicia tells that she joined the IWL “after seeing all of the important issues that they bring to the table. I wanted to continue to help make a difference and the IWL gives me that opportunity.” One of Alicia’s goals for this school year is to become more confident in her ability to talk in front of groups about issues and topics that she believes to be important!

Alicia Hunks '22
Alicia Hunks ’22

Next we have Molly Sklarz from Webster, Massachusetts. Molly is a member of the sophomore class and majoring in Hospitality Management. Molly shares that she joined the IWL “because I wanted to be a part of something that spread positivity and the message to be confident in yourself no matter who you are.” One of her goals for this school year is to get back into photography!

Panel member Sophia Prouty '21 and Molly Sklarz '20 on top of the Empire State Building during our NYC trip '18.
Panel member Sophia Prouty ’21 and Molly Sklarz ’21  on top of the Empire State Building during our NYC trip ’18.

A member of the junior class, Sachelle Mercado comes from Worcester, Massachusetts and is currently majoring in General Business. In addition to being a 2018-19 IWL Panelist, Sachelle is also a member of the International Affairs Organization and the Hospitality Club. She shares that she joined the IWL “because I wanted to become a part of something that allowed my opinion to be expressed. Also, because women should be able to stand out positively and not be judged.” A goal of Sachelle’s for this school year is to gain more confidence!

Next to introduce is Lexxus Andrews, a Criminal Justice major and Psychology minor. Lexxus is from Uxbridge, Massachusetts and is heavily involved throughout Nichols campus. In addition to being selected as an IWL Panelist, she is also a member of the women’s volleyball team, the Criminal Justice Club, Student Athlete Advisory Committee, the Big Sister, Little Sister Program, an Orientation Leader, and she volunteers at the Boys and Girls Club coaching volleyball. Lexxus joined IWL “because I believe that women empowerment and us having confidence in ourselves is important for women everywhere. I honestly love IWL and everything the program offers for my experience here at Nichols College. Its gives everyone on this campus a place where they can be themselves, share ideas, and explore ways to be a leader.” Her goal for this school year is to “learn, lead, and succeed in everything that she is involved in.”

Lexxus Andrews '20
Lexxus Andrews ’20

Originally from Port-au-Prince, Haiti, our next Panelist is Lynn Thibault. Lynn is currently a junior majoring in Marketing with a minor in Communications. In addition to her role at the IWL, she is also a Student Ambassador in Admissions and a Student Mentor in the NEXT Program. Lynn shares that she joined IWL “because I am passionate about making a difference. I am very well aware of the challenges that women face in business, and the world; and I am interested in finding ways to overcome these obstacles and bridge the gap.” One of her personal goals for this school year is to be more productive both academically and in her extracurricular activities.

A member of the junior class, we are excited to welcome back Megan Nathanson to the IWL Panel! Megan is originally from Scarborough, Maine. In addition the IWL, Megan is also a member of the women’s tennis team, a tutor for the Academic Resource Center, a member of the Sport Management Club and Rock Climbing Club. A major in Sport Management, Megan shares that she strongly believes in the IWL’s message and “loves having a place on campus dedicated to women’s leadership. It is wonderful to be part of such a supportive team of people.” One of her goals for this year is to commit to being herself and to gain confidence in that!

From left to right: Marsha Johnson '19, Megan Nathanson '21 Rachel Ferreira, IWL Director, and Professor Jean Beaupre at the 2018 Massachusetts Conference for Women in Boston, MA.
From left to right: Marsha Johnson ’19, Megan Nathanson ’20, Rachel Ferreira, IWL Director, and Professor Jean Beaupre at the 2018 Massachusetts Conference for Women in Boston, MA.

Our third freshman joining the IWL Panel is Emily Tinyszin from Southington, Connecticut! Emily intends to major in Accounting and International Business. She is also a member of the women’s volleyball team, Emerging Leaders Program, the Student Programming Board, and Accounting Club. Emily joined the IWL “because there needs to be a change for women in the workforce and I want to be part of the change the IWL helps create.” Her goal is to become more confident and comfortable with public speaking!

Emily Tinyszin '22
Emily Tinyszin ’22

Joining her two teammates from the women’s ice hockey team, our final freshman to introduce is Becca Taylor from Ridgefield, Connecticut. Becca tells that she joined the IWL “because I am passionate about women’s issues and I want to make a difference both inside and outside Nichols. I feel it is important because college students are such an important demographic to educate and empower about gender-related issues.” Becca’s goals for this school year is to become more confident speaking up about political and social issues and to get involved on campus as much as she can!

Becca Taylor '22
Becca Taylor ’22

Our final senior to introduce is Kaylin Goncalves. Kaylin hails from Norwood, Massachusetts and is majoring in International Business. In addition to being a returning member of the IWL Panel, Kaylin also plays on the women’s soccer team and is a member of SAAC, Economics Club, International Business Club, Model UN, and the Honors Program at Nichols. Kaylin explains that she joined the IWL “because I want to be part of the change to a greater movement towards equality and I want to be better educated on the hardships women face globally.” Her goal for this school year is to maintain her GPA, while also getting hands on experience through an internship or job.

Kaylin Goncalves '19
Kaylin Goncalves ’19

Our final returning panelist to introduce is Ana Noyes. Ana is a member of the sophomore class majoring in Human Resource Management with a minor is Psychology. In addition to the IWL Panel, Ana is also a member of the Emerging Leaders Program. Her favorite quote that embodies the goals of the IWL is “Only I can change my life. No one else can do it for me.” –Anon. Ana joined IWL because it “provides me with an outlet to showcase my ideas and creativity. By joining this program, it allows me to help others and change my life for the better. This quote is just an example that only I can make a difference in my life and no one else can. Her goal for this school year is to get ahead on her classes in order to begin her Master’s Program sooner.