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The Blue & Gray Press | February 21, 2018

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University to host 20th conference for women

Dr-Richardson2BY CAMILLE TURNER

Students will have the chance to work on their professional development at the University of Mary Washington’s 20th annual “Leadership Colloquium @ UMW,” which takes place on Nov. 7 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. at UMW’s Stafford campus.

The colloquium, centered on the theme “real women, real issues, real solutions,” aims to prepare women for leadership positions and foster the connectivity of professional women.

The colloquium is hosted by UMW and led by a committee of women from both the Fredericksburg community and UMW.

Lynne Richardson, chair of the colloquium and dean of UMW’s College of Business, said that the colloquium provides women with the time needed to focus on their individual careers.

“This is really a day focused on yourself and not necessarily your organization,” said Richardson.

The registration fee of $199 includes breakfast, a buffet luncheon, afternoon tea, forums and materials, all sessions and the reception.

The deadline to register is Oct. 24, or until spots fill and participants can register either online or by mail.

UMW students can attend the colloquium for the discounted registration fee of $35, according to Richardson.

Richardson said that students who want to attend should register through UMW’s Center for Honor, Leadership and Service.

Sharon Wildberger, UMW junior psychology and environmental science major, said she would consider attending the colloquium.

“I think that it’s a great idea,” said Wildberger. “It’s good to get women involved in business and have support in how to market themselves.”

A cheese and wine reception will follow the colloquium at 4:30 p.m.

People can attend the reception even if they do not attend the colloquium, provided they register by Oct. 24 and pay the $10 fee.

This year’s colloquium will feature keynote speaker Cynthia Cooper, the whistle-blower who revealed the fraud at WorldCom, one of the largest corporate frauds in history. She is now a consultant, internationally-recognized speaker and best-selling author.

“We talk a lot about honor and integrity, but could we have done what she did?” Richardson said.

The colloquium will also feature three interactive labs focused on strategic planning, personal branding and networking.

Richardson said the colloquium is beneficial because it exposes women to new ideas.

“You sit and start preparing yourself because no matter what you end up doing in life, there are going to be all those gray areas out there where you don’t know what to do,” said Richardson.

According to Richardson, the colloquium will include a panel of women from the area who represent a variety of organizations. The panel will include representatives from careers in education, healthcare and government.

At the colloquium, the Patricia Lacey Metzger Distinguished Achievement Award will be presented to a past colloquium participant who upholds exemplary personal and professional standards while fulfilling a career goal of significant stature.

Richardson said she believes it is important for women to take time to focus on themselves and their professional development.

“The colloquium is with other women and it’s very empowering to support each other,” said Richardson. “The content is beneficial to use in your personal and professional lives.”