Insistence, persistence and consistence. Sheila Brillson Matias, executive director of The Leadership Institute at Purdue University Northwest, kicked-off Purdue University Northwest’s (PNW) celebration of Women’s History Month by sharing words of advice from her father.
“My father who was a mentor to me would often remind me of the three guiding principles: ‘Sheila, the three words to remember are insistence, persistence and consistence.’ Those words have guided me throughout my career,” said Matias.
The inaugural Women’s History Month event held at PNW’s Hammond Campus Tuesday night opened doors of opportunity for students to meet and network with community members. Matias provided the introduction.
“This event is a great opportunity for women in the community to connect with each other and empower each other. I believe there have been great strides made towards women’s rights and opportunities, but there is still a ways to go and this event is a great step forward,” said Marisa Gorski, a PNW freshman.
Thomas L. Keon, Chancellor of Purdue University Northwest, said instilling the idea that women are capable and deserving of every opportunity that the world has to offer is extremely important to Purdue University Northwest and its staff.
Keon also stressed the importance of networking events like this, and how they can come in handy for students as they embark on their future journeys.
“Often times our young women don’t really get the kind of interactions that they need to help them develop and become stronger as they enter the workforce, or if they decide to continue their education after their bachelor’s degree,” Keon said. “This event is an opportunity to learn how to communicate and reach out to others. We hope to see our student body become major contributors to society and networking is one of many great ways to get there.”
Throughout the night an undeniable, genuine support and willingness to connect flowed through the room. Resumes and business cards were exchanged at every turn.
“I think it’s really important to embrace and take ownership of sisterhood and being a woman. We are talented at so many skills and it’s important to highlight and make known that there can be strong females in male-dominated roles,” said Jennifer Madgiak, associate athletic director for Academic Services at Purdue Northwest.
But women weren’t the only ones in the crowd making connections and conversing. Many male students came out to celebrate Women’s History Month and meet with community members.
“It doesn’t matter that I’m a male. There’s always an opportunity to help each other out no matter what gender you are,” said Andres Cardenas, a PNW junior.
During her introduction, Matias encouraged positive and open-minded thinking among the crowd.
“Leadership is about passion with a little moxie and bravery thrown in for good measure,” said Matias. “In your own sphere of influence, when you see a talented, smart girl, I challenge you to pull her aside and let her know that you see her and take a moment to encourage her on her personal pathway to success.”
Purdue University Northwest has several upcoming events to celebrate Women’s History Month. For more information visit https://www.pnw.edu/womens-history/.