Women’s Leadership Panel Offers Inspiring Advice to UofM Students

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Female students at UofM came together to talk about what it means to be a student leader at the Student Women Leadership Panel on Wednesday, March 20. The club, Students Advocating for Stronger Sisterhood (SASS), which hosted the event, aims “to provide unity, cultural enrichment and diversity for the women of color at the University of Memphis and the world.”

SASS Vice President Jocelyn Kelly and Program Chair Maya Smith invited four panelists — Julie Mathis, Scarlett Gonzalez, Markayla Love and Devi Patel — who gave advice on student leadership to the women of UofM.

The panelists are all involved in various clubs and organizations offered at UofM. Throughout her college journey, Mathis has been a part of the Helen Hardin Honors College, Frosh Camp, Weeks of Welcome and the Student Government Association. However, as of now, her focus is professional development within the Fogelman College of Business and Economics. Gonzalez serves as the president of the Hispanic Student Association. Loveis president of the Black Student Association (BSA) and a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated. Patel functions as the vice president of the Indian Student Association.

The host began by asking the panelists a series of questions, then opened the floor to the public to askany questions they might have had. The panelists were asked questions such as, “What caused you to step up and be a leader in your organization?”, “What is your leadership style?” and “How do you budget your time management as a student leader?”

“A good leader is a good listener,” said Gonzalez as she discussed her servant leadership style.

Mathis said the shock of a newfound independence made her want more out of life. “I knew I wanted to come to the big city and experience people who didn’t look and think like me.”

All four panelists were asked the question, “What impact would you like to leave on this campus?”

Love revealed that her biggest wish is for attendees to leave events, hosted by student organizations like BSA, knowing the why behind everything they do. Therefore, by making this effort, the next president after her “doesn’t just do things because they can, but because there’s a specific and good reason behind it.”

Mathis answered that she wants to leave behind a legacy of kindness. “If you can be kind or influence some- one to be kind, it will solve a lot of foundational issues.”

Patel said she wants to leave behind a reminder about the importance of being yourself and ignoring stereotypes.

Finally, Gonzalez would like for students to be united by culture, saying “It doesn’t matter our differences. We’ll always have something in common.”

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