Category Archives: News & Views

Don’t Table It, Talk About It: IWL’s Refreshing Photo Installation

In an empowering display across Nichols campus, the Institute for Women’s Leadership celebrated Women’s History Month in a new fashion. On the evening before March 1st, 50 portraits were hung up across campus, featuring the faces of students, staff and faculty alike- male and female. Each image was straight-faced, black and white, and dramatically displayed a short quote. Each quote represented a personal story of how the featured individual has been stereotyped based on their gender at some point in their life. To tie the installation into Women’s History Month, participants were also asked to name a woman who has made history who they find inspiring.

Sam Walther, IWL Graduate Assistant
Sam Walther, IWL Graduate Assistant
Rachel Ferreira, IWL Director
Rachel Ferreira, IWL Director

Although this type of social movement is new for Nichols campus, the IWL felt it was a needed step to awaken our campus on just how prevalent gender stereotyping is in the lives of our community members. Students, staff and faculty members have seemingly agreed, as the discussion and feedback has been largely positive. Even two weeks after the initiation of the display, people are still seen stopping in their tracks to read the quotes when they walk into the major buildings around campus.

Images from the installation place in the Lombard Dining Hall entrance.
Images from the installation placed in the Lombard Dining Hall entrance.

The inspiration came after the IWL’s fall trip to the United Nations Headquarters in New York City. The UN had a large photo installation of refugees from around the world displaying quotes reflecting on their experiences. Ever since that trip in November, we knew we needed to bring that type of creative effort to Nichols. And Nichols has seemingly embraced that effort.

During the initial phases on the installation, we expected to have maybe a dozen participants if we were lucky. Yet, as word spread through networks, friend groups, and sports teams, our community members kept showing up to the green screen room to be photographed and share their story. The sheer number of participation and interest was inspiring in itself as it proves that Nichols students and faculty members want to share their stories and are willing to face some of their largest fears in order to embrace a cultural change. Many participants were scared at first thought of having their portrait displayed across campus, putting their face attached to a personal story. Yet, the most fulfilling moment of the whole process was when individuals saw the final printed version. They looked and felt strong.

All 50 of the portraits used in the installation.
All 50 of the portraits used in the installation.

It’s been comforting, shocking, and motivating to hear just how many students and faculty members identify with the experiences being displayed on the posters. It comforts each of us to know that we are not alone in our struggles, yet proves that gender stereotyping is still an issue to be fought. For those that remain confused, the posters are simply to bring awareness that our community members feel these stereotypes, many of who battle them each and everyday.

One of the most significant efforts in this project was inviting and encouraging male participation. What is often forgotten is that although the Institute for Women’s Leadership primarily focuses on building confidence and leadership skills for our female student, the Institute values male representation as well. The Institute is a resource for all students to build their bravery, share their voice, and encourage others to be great leaders despite societal stereotypes and misconceptions.

Pieces of the installation in the athletics building, featuring both male and female student-athletes.
Pieces of the installation in the athletics building, featuring both male and female student-athletes.

Nichols may be a business school, but no business has every succeeded without a little creativity and a big leap of faith. The same goes with social and cultural change. Nichols students show day in and day out that they embrace those challenges each day in their educational and professional suits. We hope that each participant and each person who sees and reads the quotes on the images recognizes the power of their story and their voice as well to fight against whatever their own personal stories and experiences with gender stereotypes may be. Finally, we are proud to be the first to bring this artistic freedom and social movement to Nichols campus, but we certainly hope we are not the last.

We encourage any and all feedback. You can reach us at or stop into the IWL in NAB.

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

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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.