Women’s leadership symposium focuses on career goals, balanced living

The Butler Center for Service and Leadership is hosting its first event that focuses solely on women’s leadership at UM, and all students are welcome to attend, free of charge.

“The theme of this event is ‘A Balancing Act’ and as the name suggests, will feature components to help students at UM to ‘do it all’ and have a balanced life at the same time,” said Caitlin Giles, chair of the Women’s Leadership Symposium.

The symposium, which takes place at 9:30 a.m. Nov. 3 in the Storer Auditorium, features opening sessions, a networking lunch and breakout groups. The sessions will be based on three areas: collegiate leadership, career goals and success, and physical/mental health and well-being.

In addition, there will be a panel on women and family, featuring prominent females in the Miami community who have been able to achieve both their career goals and motherly duties.

Katie Meier, UM’s own coach, will be speaking in the morning. She will share her own personal success story and view on leadership. A number of female speakers will soon after address how to balance work and personal life while in college and in the workforce.

Subsequent to lunch, participants will have the opportunity to take part in two of the six offered breakout sessions. Topics that will be covered include nutrition, wellness, leadership development and community service.

The symposium will be co-hosted by the UM Panhellenic Association and is also sponsored by the Patti and Allan Wellness Center, Multicultural Student Affairs, the UM University Village, Delta Gamma, Sigma Delta Tau, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc., and other external companies and organizations.

“Collaborating with departments and organizations that deal with women’s issues has been extremely rewarding,” said Giles, who is also the president of the University of Miami Panhellenic Association. “We have formed a committee with representatives from each and their partnership has been vital to the event.”

She added that the purpose of the symposium “is to inspire women to achieve anything, empowered and confident to face all obstacles regardless of their gender.”

Although the symposium is open to all UM students, seats are limited. Those interested in attending the event must register at

 The symposium is just one kind of programming that is done by the Butler Center, which also strives to help students who wish to make a difference within the community. Another of the center’s programs, called Service and Leadership Liaison, focuses on that.

“It puts students in a situation where they work with residential colleges and hall councils to promote service and leadership within residences and commuter bases,” said Andrew Wiemer, director of the Butler Center.

Students apply for this position and then meet with the office weekly to make programs for their respective building.

“Our mission is to help students bring awareness of service and leadership to the broader base of the student population,” said Wiemer.

Community service mini-grants are also available to those who wish to pursue innovative projects. They can request up to $250 to fund an initiative that will benefit the Miami-Dade community. Applications to apply for a grant second semester are due Feb. 15.

With an array of services at the Butler Center to choose from, students are encouraged to participate in the ones that interest them most.

Mike Piacentino, the public relations coordinator, said he involved himself in a way that fit him best.

“I get to take what I learn as a public relations major and then use it to help and work with different student organizations and events,” he said. “ I personally find it rewarding.”

For more information about the women’s symposium or other programs, contact the Butler Center in UC 240 or call 305-284-4483 or email

October 24, 2012


April Rossdeutscher

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