Alexandria Campus’ Women’s Retention Program and the Braden Center for Women, Gender and Social Equity hosted the annual Women Helping Women event on March 3. This year’s focus was “Together! Finding your passion, power and place.” Ninety-one people attended the event including faculty, staff and students from every NOVA campus.
The mentoring program is headed by Dr. Jill Biden and Professor Emeritus Elizabeth Harrison with the support of Dr. George Gabriel, Office of Institutional Effectiveness & Student Success Initiatives, the program was developed nine years ago to ensure that female students get the support they need to attain their academic and career goals.
Dr. Jill Biden welcomed the students and shared her personal journey of having to juggle school and family. Lisa Hill took attendees on a tour of the Art Pop-Up Exhibition in the new fine arts building. The Art Pop-Up Exhibition is a compilation of graphic designs, photos, sculptures and drawings by female students at NOVA.
Attendees in the packed dance studio moved together during a fabulous barre session facilitated by Meredith Kaufman, owner of Barre3 in Old Town Alexandria. Dr. Annette Haggray, faculty, staff and students participated in the hour-long class.
After lunch, Kirsten Riddick from the office of Technology Innovation in Learning and Teaching walked participants through a virtual reality career expedition and exploration exercise. Attendees learned about different applications of virtual reality while exploring various careers, including estate and psychology.
Dr. Carolyn Lorente moderated a session with Tori Hobgood, Samantha Blain, and Remaz Abdelganger, former NOVA students, who shared stories about how they overcame personal struggles and persisted in graduating and continuing on their academic and career paths. The women talked about how they used NOVA resources such as the Women’s Mentoring program, and how they turned to faculty, staff and most importantly each other for support.