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Wrapping up Women's History Month with Womxn in Leadership Luncheon

April 2023
  • Women's History Month

On Monday, March 27 the Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion along with the Office of Student Life and Leadership gathered a group of phenomenal women in leadership for a compelling discussion and luncheon.

Worcester community member and entrepreneur Joyce Augustus gave the keynote speech.

Augustus is president of JCassand, Inc. and has served on the board of YWCA Central Massachusetts. She recollected her journey as a woman in the professional world and how far things have come in terms of women's rights. 

"I often think about how we can come together to make our country better and stronger. My role as a leader and woman in the community is based in integrity. That keeps me grounded and centered while I do my work," she said.

The President's Assistant for Engagement & Initiatives, Jess Ahrens, led a thoughtful discussion on uplifting safe and intersectional spaces for women and gender minorities. The event concluded with an engaging panel consisting of Vice President for External Affairs Viviana Abreu-Hernandez, Director of Student Life and Leadership Ashlee Givins, Vice President for Strategic Enrollment & Student Engagement Michelle Tufau and Dean of Students Terry Vecchio.

The panel covered many topics about being a woman in a position of power including how to be a leader.

"I try to do the work with authenticity and model that for others. I've never hidden who I was and hopefully, that has some influence on others, especially our students,"  Vecchio commented.

Tufau spoke about people who inspire her including her mother who was the first woman to obtain a civil engineering degree in Haiti.

"She was a real nose to the grindstone type of person," she said.

Abreu-Hernandez offered her thoughts on leadership.

 "I try to maximize the potential of the employees on my team. We make collective decisions and allow everyone's voice," she told the audience.

"I am creating a community at Fuller," Givins said, adding, "Some might think the students know too much about me but this is how you make a safe space. And at QCC I've been inspired by the other women on this panel to be who I am and still be strong and influential."