Women’s Leadership Summit brings alumnae, professional leaders to campus

In what was both an inspiring and empowering event, the College welcomed 25 women scholars and business leaders, 19 of whom are New Paltz alumnae, for the Women’s Leadership Summit on March 1, 2017.

The program was presented by the SUNY New Paltz Foundation and included five breakout panel discussions, which corresponded to the College’s five schools: School of Business; School of Education; College of Liberal Arts & Sciences (LA&S); School of Fine & Performing Arts (F&PA); and School of Science & Engineering. Speakers offered advice for transitioning from college to the workforce and shared both their accomplishments and set backs with student attendees.

“I wanted to let students know that the path to professional success isn’t always a straight one,” said panelist Jessica Gardner ’00 (Journalism), founder of Media Solstice Marketing & PR. “I returned for this event hoping to have an impact on current students and to help them understand what is possible with a liberal arts degree, regardless of a person’s original plans.”

Gardner was one of five alumnae speakers from the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. Prior to her work with the award-winning full-service marketing firm Media Solstice Marketing & PR, she held leadership roles in the marketing departments of three successful Hudson Valley companies: Focus Media, Elant, and Monticello Motor Club. She is also a former journalist for the Times Herald Record, the largest daily newspaper in the Hudson Valley region, and the Pocono Record.

“Once you hit a certain career milestone you have an obligation,” Gardner said of her return to the College for the Summit. “I think that’s part of the reason we’re all here, it’s time to give something back to the students following in our footsteps.”

The annual Women’s Leadership Summit benefits all schools and majors by connecting students with alumnae and thought leaders who can offer realistic career advice, empowerment tips and answer individual questions during the planned networking portion of the day.

For more information and to see the full list of 2017 speakers visit newpaltz.edu/summit.