Join DWN Now—Here’s Why!

Shea Wolfe
Shea Wolfe, DWN 2015-16 President

By Shea Wolfe

As a new staff member coming to DePaul in Spring 2013 from a smaller institution, the university felt very large to me. While I was comfortable within my departmental team and division of Student Affairs, I felt like I wasn’t taking advantage of the networks of people within the campus community that I knew existed and whom I felt might share similar personal and professional interests. I also knew I wasn’t going to find these folks by sitting in my office and waiting for them to come to me, so it was time to go out and do some networking. For an introvert like myself, that’s not always the easiest thing to do, but when I began asking others how to get involved and which organization was doing great things on this campus, the answer always came back around to the DePaul Women’s Network.

While I thought I’d just initially join as a team member, there was an opportunity to take a leadership role within the newly developed Learning & Engagement team (now renamed Membership & Engagement). I decided to step up to the plate because I figured the team was new, I was new, and no one would be any wiser! I found my first year in DWN to be an exhilarating ride and one that I would grow fond of during my tenure. I appreciated getting to know women from other departments and areas that I would never have had a chance to speak with had it not been for DWN. Those meetings became a focal point for me and a place where I could truly be comfortable. When the time came to decide what role I wanted to play for the 2014-15 service year, I once again found myself stepping up to the plate as the Executive Vice President/President-Elect. I am grateful for what DWN has done for the DePaul community, and for myself, and have been honored to play a role in the leadership development of this network.

DWN recently opened applications for membership in the 2015-16 service year. Just as I did when looking to get involved, I would encourage each of you to think about your own personal and professional goals while you’re at DePaul:

  • What is it that you want to do and be while you’re here?
  • What skills do you want to obtain?
  • How can you help yourself get to the next level?

And while you’re thinking about and answering these questions, I would ask you to think about what role DWN could play. There are two ways to participate in DWN: Become a director (this year for the Marketing & Communications or Programming team), or join as a team member within 1 of 5 areas. Each of our teams—Operations, Membership & Engagement, Service & Outreach, Programming, and Marketing & Communications—brings something special to the Network. In addition, the varied types of teams mean you can help out using skills you already have or learn something new. Once you learn more on DWN’s website, applying is as easy as filling out an online application.

I encourage you to consider stepping up to the plate—I know I’m glad I did.

DWN recruitment is open until Monday, April 6. Click here to apply now!

Leaning on Our Sisters: The Annual High Tea with St. Louise

High Tea 2015By Lucina Schell

On March 17, Cortelyou Commons was a sea of green as festive chatter filled the vaulted ceiling. While St. Patrick’s Day was on the minds of many, DePaul women gathered two days after the feast day of St. Louise de Marillac to celebrate DWN’s annual High Tea with St. Louise. Leaving behind the stress of the workday, we met women from across DePaul who wield great responsibility and provide exceptional service to our community, all while taking care of their own well-being and that of their loved ones.

In her keynote, Sister Katie Norris, D.C., Director of Catholic Campus Ministry, reminded us that, though St. Louise lived more than 300 years ago, she has many lessons for today’s professional women. Together with St. Vincent de Paul, St. Louise founded the Daughters of Charity. In a contemporary organization, St. Vincent could be thought of as President and St. Louise as Chief Operating Officer. St. Louise was an instrumental woman, a leader with many competing responsibilities. Not only did she have a family who depended on her, she also had a whole community of women. Like many of us, she was a woman who had to grow into confidence in her voice and abilities, the gifts that St. Vincent saw and nurtured in her. St. Louise became comfortable straddling the two worlds in which she and St. Vincent worked: the nobility who helped fund their work and the children of peasants who became the Daughters of Charity. With the strength of her faith and the support of St. Vincent and her fellow sisters, St. Louise became a mentor to these women.

Yet, St. Louise struggled with the same challenges professional women face today: taking on too much, burnout, feelings of inadequacy, making time for self-care. Decorating each table were flower petals with quotations from St. Louise that attest to her contemporaneity, for example:

“You must ask God for the grace to stay well within the limits of your authority so that you do not go beyond it and undertake more than you need to.”

As someone who routinely takes on too much, this was a welcome lesson. St. Louise understood that women with many talents may have trouble saying “no” to work that feels personally resonant or that no one else is willing or equipped to do. Yet, when we spread ourselves too thin, each of our projects suffers. It’s important to prioritize competing responsibilities, and consider where our talents can make the most difference. Saying “no” to one project may be an invitation for someone else to let her gifts shine. In her beautiful invocation, Sister Betty Ann McNeil, D.C., Vincentian Scholar-In-Residence, encouraged us to take comfort in our sisterhood, as St. Louise did, and seek out opportunities for mutual support from other women. As we shared tea, sweets and fellowship with other women, the room momentarily mirrored this healthy vision.

Lucina Schell is a member of the DWN Service & Outreach and a Student Records Assistant at DePaul University.