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Women in Media Leadership

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Women in Media Leadership

Women in Media Leadership

Elanie Steyn, Gaylord College of Journalism and Mass Communication

Traditionally and across cultures, the tendency has been (and in many cases, continues to be) to “think leader, think man.” Women are late to the leadership and management tables in many industries. In some countries, women have no “formal leadership” role to play and many girls grow up having no idea of their dreams, capacities or contributions to the societies they live in. Yet, in many of these societies, women “hold up half the sky,” to paraphrase the late Chinese leader Mao Zedong. Not in formalized ways. And often not in glamorous ways either. But in ways that contribute to the strength of their people’s cultural, political, and economic fiber.

This Presidential Dream Course will focus on women in appointed leadership and management positions as well as the “silent” or “behind-the-scenes” women leaders. This class will “tell the stories” of “Being a Woman in the 21st Century” by collaborating with departments across campus and inviting women from different sectors of society as experts and guests. We will focus on media, business, education, STEM, entertainment, health, sport, politics, tourism, public service, religion, the non-profit sector, the military, fashion, and the LGBTQ+ sectors, to name a few.

We will invite women experts to share with students and faculty from across campus and with the community their stories of being a woman in these sectors. Students across the five focus areas of Gaylord College will utilize their storytelling skills to produce products that display these stories: whether through a photo exhibition; a multimedia storytelling platform; journalism pieces in various written, electronic and online formats; social and digital media campaigns; podcasts; and more. Through this class, women in leadership across various sectors and from all walks of life will share their stories with the campus audience and students, while students will use their storytelling skills to share these stories with a national and international audience.

Public Lecture Series

Global identity and becoming a "one-woman-shop" in journalism

Tuesday, February 12, 2019
7:00 PM
Gaylord Hall 1140

Tania Rashid

Correspondent and Producer

My global identity led me to a career in journalism. Growing up in one of the most isolating places in the world –Saudi Arabia, I learned what it felt like to be a second-class citizen. I spent years later years of my childhood in Bangladesh, the country of my ancestors where rampant corruption and political instability brought my family to another isolated part of the world. Utah. I came to terms with my loneliness, but it felt different this time. Not only did I not speak English, but I was the only brown, Muslim girl of my class, in a community of Caucasian Mormons.

My exposure to the Middle East, South Asia, and racism in Utah drew me to get my B.A. history and global studies at UCLA in 2007. After my graduation, I worked for Al Gore’s global TV network, Current TV for three years.  But watching the female pioneers in my industry I quickly learned that I wanted to become a one-woman-shop with my filmmaking. So I decided to get my master’s degree in broadcast journalism and documentary at Columbia University, where I learned to shoot, edit, and produce stories on my own.

I am now working as a freelance journalist in South Asia. I’ve produced and hosted for Al Jazeera English, CNN International, and Vice News.

To Dream Again: Leadership in a time of Despair

Tuesday, February 26, 2019
7:00 PM
Gaylord Hall 1140

Paula Thomson
Executive Manager
Woza Moya

Paula Thomson has worked with the Hillcrest AIDS Centre Trust in South Africa for over 16 years managing the center’s Economic Empowerment project Woza Moya. This project aims to uplift and upskill patients and community members who are impacted by HIV/AIDS to earn an income. Woza Moya works with over 1,500 crafters assisting each crafter with design, product development and access to market.

Woza Moya has won numerous awards: The most beautiful object in South  Africa - The dreams for Africa Chair, The Impumemelelo Social innovation award and the 2017 Exporter of the year in the creative category.

Woza Moya is a center of creative development and has taken on inclusive commissions of large scale beaded projects, our claim to fame is the largest beaded love letter that was commissioned by the Moses Mabhida stadium in Durban in 2010. The biggest beaded billboard commissioned by Toyota in 2018 and the Dreams for Africa chair that travelled the world collecting dreams.

Paula Thomson was born in Durban South Africa, and holds a bachelor's degree in Fine Art and a H.D.E. Teaching diploma. She taught Art to high school students for 10 years before leaving to take up the post Woza Moya Craft manager.  She recently won the Woman in Business Social Entrepreneur Award.

Women and Leadership in the Arts

Tuesday, March 5, 2019
7:00 PM
Gaylord Hall 1140

Mary Jo Heath

Radio Host
Metropolitan Opera

Mary Jo Heath is in her fourth season as Radio Host of the Metropolitan Opera radio broadcasts, hosting both the Saturday matinees heard live by almost eight million people worldwide each week and the evening broadcasts on the Met Opera Radio Channel on SiriusXM – more than 70 live broadcasts of 25 different operas each season.  She is only the fourth “Voice of the Met” in the history of the house since the broadcasts began in 1931.  Prior to that appointment she spent nine seasons as the Met’s Senior Radio Producer, leading almost 1,000 broadcasts from behind the scenes.  She has worked for more than 25 years in many parts of the music industry, from radio stations to record companies to researching and writing to the internet.  She holds Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in music from the University of Oklahoma in her hometown of Norman, Oklahoma. She earned a Ph.D. in music theory from the Eastman School of Music where she returned in May 2016 to give the Commencement Address and receive a Distinguished Alumni Award. 

Sharing the Riches: Leadership in Empowerment

Tuesday, March 12, 2019
7:00 PM
Gaylord Hall 1140

Carrie Rich
Co-Founder and CEO
The Global Good Fund

Carrie Rich is the co-founder and CEO of The Global Good Fund, a nonprofit organization that supports high potential social entrepreneurs in more than 25 countries globally, collectively serving 339,000 beneficiaries.  Ms. Rich has co-authored multiple books, the first of which became a Top 5 Business Book in Germany.  She previously served as adjunct faculty at Georgetown University and currently teaches at George Washington University in Washington, DC.  

Ms. Rich is the 2016 Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year, recipient of the POLITICO Women Who Rule Award, 2018 Enterprising Women Awardee, Washington Business Journal 40 under 40, Top 30 Start-ups to Watch, Stevie Award for Women in Business, Asian Social Innovation CEO of the Year, Social Enterprise Alliance 50 under 40, and Empact100 awardee. Ms. Rich has been published in media outlets such as Forbes, Entrepreneur, HuffingtonPost, The Founder Institute, and Philanthropy News Digest. She sits on both nonprofit and for-profit boards, co-owns ROMAN retail boutique, designs for Isannah jewelry, and volunteers locally and abroad.  

Ms. Rich lives with her children and husband in rural Maryland.  

The Power of Leadership to Change the Future Through Education

Tuesday, March 26, 2019
7:00 PM
Gaylord Hall 1140

Amy Fichtner

Owasso Public Schools

Amy Fichtner is the Superintendent of the Owasso Public Schools. In this role, she aims to educate and empower students as they create successful futures, influence educators as they collaborate for student success, partner with local leaders to enrich the community and inspire educational leaders to invest in quality public education. Amy has a long career in education, and has received several awards in recognition of her work to improve the future of education.