PASSHE leaders expressed encouragement to women during BU panel discussion

Date:  March 23, 2005

BLOOMSBURG— Courage and confidence were the common threads in the Women’s History Month panel discussion at Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania Tuesday, March 22. 

Panelists Judy Hample, PASSHE’s chancellor; Madeline Wing Adler, president of West Chester University; and Jessica Kozloff, BU’s president, focused their discussion on the program’s central theme, “Women Changing America.” The three female leaders discussed their professional journeys and the difficulties they faced along the way as women in their careers. They also discussed the growing power and influence of women in business, government and education. 

“I challenge you to be a risk-taker. The future is yours and it is ours, as well,” said Adler. The WCU president called attention to the work that is done by a group of individuals or a team in a style she calls “distributed leadership.” Adler emphasized that leaders must believe in themselves and take risks, but also have faith that individuals on their team have much to offer to the group. Adler’s personal experiences have shown her that without personal confidence and the collective ideas and values of those in the group, the team cannot function.

Hample noted she has great belief that women will continue to assume leadership roles like those held by the panelists. The chancellor encouraged the audience to focus on six major characteristics that she believes make up a great leader: self-confidence, optimism, preparation, teamwork, courage and communication. She challenged the audience to think about their own leadership style and embrace it, and to learn from their experiences along the way.

BU’s President Kozloff shared a personal story of a mentor who gave her the confidence to push herself and strive for success. Professional role models are important, she said, often giving both men and women the confidence to take risks and follow their personal values in decision making.

When asked what it feels like to be a female leader, Kozloff responded, “It feels great to be a female leader; the men need us.”

The panel discussion was sponsored by BU’s Commission on the Status of Women.

Bloomsburg University is one of 14 universities in Pennsylvania’s State System of Higher Education. The university serves approximately 8,000 students and offers 65 bachelor’s, 17 master’s and one doctoral degree.