Apply Now and Never Look Back!

By Jennifer Long

croI joined DePaul in the fall of 2013 in the Office of Advancement, on a team that works to develop special gifts from individual donors by encouraging philanthropy to a variety of initiatives. As you might guess, this externally facing job is rather autonomous and does not require much engagement across the university.

Though you never forget you’re working to support students and programming through fundraising, you can sometimes feel disconnected from the DePaul community while traveling to meet donors. Being housed in an administrative building in the Loop doesn’t help either, as it’s not strictly a DePaul building.

The DePaul Women’s Network was just what I needed to feel more connected.

It took me too long to discover it. I believe the first email that caught my attention was one regarding an improv session on public speaking. I wasn’t bold enough at the time to attend, but I did quickly start my application for the Service and Outreach team and added the Women’s Convocation—honoring 10 years of DePaul Women’s Network—to my calendar.

DWN quickly allowed me to grow in my understanding of the amazing university I had been fundraising for, to understand the breadth of experiences of DePaul women, to learn about how other women were managing their careers, and to learn new skills myself.

The Service and Outreach team—one of five you can serve on as a team member or director—plans events such as the High Tea with St. Louise de Marillac. Joining this team made me feel like I was making a direct impact on the DePaul and surrounding community, and gave me the opportunity to develop additional skills in event planning and coordination. It only required a few more hours monthly than the members-at-large membership group (no team designation). I was pleased my application was accepted and that I was able to participate for the next year. My connections quickly grew through my collaborations with other team members and members at large.

Unfortunately, due to enrolling in a graduate program, I decided to step back from the team role to serve as a member at large in late 2015. However, I’ve still remained connected by participating in a variety of DWN events, including the annual High Tea and the Interactive Art events, and I look forward to attending the more casual ones, such as the regular coffee and happy hours.

In November of 2015, one of the tragic bereavement notices we all receive in our inboxes, referenced a loss I was experiencing. When I returned to the office, I had interoffice mail in the form of letters and gifts from women I had met through DePaul Women’s Network, and even the Service and Outreach team, from which I had recently stepped down. That outpouring of support is yet another example of the benefit of connecting with the beautiful, wonderful women at DePaul and in DWN.

I would encourage every woman to consider what the DePaul Women’s Network might offer their DePaul experience (and beyond!), and how they might like to participate. DePaul University is a place where people grow, and DWN helps connect women throughout that process. Apply now and never look back!

Recruitment for 2017-18 team members and directors is open until April 7, 2017. Click here to apply.

Jennifer Long is a DWN member at large and an assistant director of development for DePaul’s Richard H. Driehaus College of Business.

Pearls of Wisdom from DWN’s DePaul Female Administrators Panel

By Jamie Sokolik

Whether you recently started your first full-time position or you’ve been in the working world for many years, a little insight and advice from those who came before can prove invaluable. On Wednesday, Jan. 26, DePaul Women’s Network (DWN) hosted the semi-annual Female Administrators Panel, featuring Cheryl Einsele, assistant vice president for academic fiscal administration; Ashley Knight, dean of students; Erin Minné, senior vice president for advancement; Jennifer Rosato Perea, dean of the Law School; and Stephanie Smith, vice president for human resources.

Read on for some insights and guidance from the DePaul Female Administrators Panel…

  1. “It’s not about balance, it’s about integration.” –Ashley Knight

I don’t have work-life balance. I work every day. Weekends. I’m always working. I try to make sure there’s big chunks of time in my life that are enjoyable and spent with family, but it’s really about integration. If you can find integration in your life between work and your family and love and passions, then that’s your goal. That’s my goal every day is to just be integrated in all that I do. But, yes, work is a part of every day and every minute.

  1. “Find your leadership brand.” –Stephanie Smith

It would be a disservice to not address the double standard out there; and then from my point of view, you add in the extra assumptions of being a minority woman. There are certain things people automatically assume based on what they see—before they know who you are or how you’re going to lead. It’s an imperative to figure out, what I call, your leadership brand. A brand is literally how you show up—what you look like, how you speak, what you do, how you approach issues. Think about what your point of difference is. Who are you? What’s your expertise? What do you have to deliver to an organization? What is it that you want to be about? How are you going to incorporate your authentic self to benefit the organization and the people you lead?

  1. “Learn to be comfortable with ambiguity.” –Erin Minné

There is so much gray area in our lives—in higher education in particular, but in anybody’s life these days. And you need to find a way to be OK with that. There are a lot of people who want things concrete, and they want all the answers. They only want to deal with things they can get their arms around. As you progress in your career, that becomes increasingly impossible. You have to understand that there might not be one right answer to a problem. There might be many solutions, all with different outcomes, and some better than others, which is subjective. Gray can be good. Knowing how to find your way through it, and how to help others through it, is valuable.

  1. “Lead with authenticity.” –Jennifer Rosato Perea

As a female leader, you should lead with authenticity. If you are warm, be warm; if you are passionate, be passionate. If you are authentic, you will be a much more effective leader and will be much more satisfied personally and professionally. But there are limits to how authentic you can be, as you still need to meet the expectations of a leader in a male-dominated environment. It’s not enough to be competent. Charisma matters, how you look matters—so you need to be constantly self-reflective as to how you will be perceived. Every dress or suit I put on, every nail color I put on, every shoe I put on—I ask myself not only, “do I look and feel good?” but also, “what impression am I making on others?” If I feel good and will make a good impression, then the focus will be on my experience and skills.

  1. “Meet somebody new at DePaul every week.” –Cheryl Einsele

I had a mentor who advised me to try to meet someone new at the university every week. Find out what they do, and see what you have in common. In an elevator, just say, “Hello! Good morning!” It’s that easy, and you might meet someone who you have a lot in common with or who can connect you with people who might be helpful to your career.

This panel is one of several events open exclusively to DWN members and members-at-large. We invite you to become a member and to join us in networking with and supporting women within the DePaul community. The recruitment season starts next month, so stay tuned for more information on how to join DWN, or email DPUWomensNetwork@depaul.edu with any questions.

Jamie Sokolik is a member of the Marketing & Communications team for DWN, and an assistant editor in the Office of Advancement at DePaul.

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!

10th Annual Women of Spirit & Action Awards: Finding Balance and Community

By Lauren Kriz

On November 6, the DePaul Women’s Network celebrated its 10th Annual Women of Spirit and Action Awards with the support of staff and faculty from across the university. Despite the fact that I have worked at DePaul for more than five years, this was my first time attending the event, and I was pleased by the number of people in the audience, both men and women, who had gathered to honor an impressive list of DePaul women for their service to the university.

The atmosphere in the room was inviting and celebratory, making the event an exciting highlight at the start of DWN’s year. Jen Fox, the president of DWN, began the event by asking the audience to join her in honoring the “modern-day Louises in our midst—the women faculty, staff and students who help move this great university’s mission forward” and who are leaders across campus.

WSA Awards 1
Before the keynote speaker took the stage, Fox also spoke about the 2014-15 DWN theme, “Women’s Ways of Wellness,” and how DWN will offer a number of programs meant to help DePaul women find balance in six different aspects of wellness: emotional, physical, vocational, spiritual, community and social. To kick off this year’s theme and to honor St. Louise and the DePaul recipients of this year’s awards, DWN picked a special speaker: Dr. Vie Thorgren, the founder and director of the Center for Spirituality at Work, where they aim to “unite diverse people for spirituality and social justice.” Dr. Thorgren came to DePaul from Denver to speak from a Vincentian perspective about holistic wellness, how it applies to our lives at DePaul and how belonging to a community can help us on our path to wellness.

Dr. Thorgren began by talking about the center and how it invites professionals to act as mentors for women who are re-entering the workforce from prison. These professional mentors are trained by women from the prison, who are also members of the board, a format that is uniquely Vincentian in that everyone participates in every aspect of the organization.

Dr. Thorgren then gave a brief biography of St. Louise and how it now seems clear that for Louise’s entire life she had a “yearning for belonging.” After many years of searching, she eventually found that she belonged to God and thus to her brothers and sisters, an idea that was instrumental to her founding of the Daughters of Charity, who provide outreach to all communities, whether rich or poor. Dr. Thorgren spoke about how St. Louise can give us perspective on wellness today related to the idea of belonging. She said that having a sense of belonging can lead to health and lacking a sense of belonging can lead to unease; finding our own sense of belonging is important for establishing balance in our lives. Belonging keeps us centered and gives us life. We begin using “we” when we interact with the communities around us—instead of only focusing on “I”—and that new focus is enriching and empowering and healthy. She spoke about how belonging “makes claims on us.” People in the communities to which we belong know that we have each become “one of the primary resources of [our] brothers and sisters,” and this knowledge lays the foundation of trust and security necessary to maintain a strong community of support.

Dr. Thorgren gave us four areas that she thought were important as we begin to develop our communities.

  1. Each of us needs two types of relationships in our lives. The first is supportive and is with people who have always nurtured and cared for us. The second is a relationship we must develop with “sandpaper people” or people who do not always like us or think like us, but are the people that help us grow.
  2. There is a difference between “do-goodism” and real service, which is about how the act of someone giving service and someone receiving service should be mutually transforming and leave us energized, instead of burnt out like many do-gooders.
  3. There is great importance in having “fallow time” or down time, when we must help ourselves remember the difference between being productive and being fruitful.
  4. We should take problems and really see them and then receive them as gifts. Though we may not always feel like we have the tools to cope with the problems that are presented to us, if we stop and recognize those problems, we may find that though the tools are not always what we expected, we can find them in ourselves. Here she gave us the example of someone she knows from the center, who took skills she had learned in her criminal past and turned them into marketable skills, working hard in her job until she was trusted enough to be put in charge of her office for an entire month.

Dr. Thorgren challenged many of us to think not only about developing our sense of belonging and community, which we have learned is important to our wellness, but also to be aware of the ways in which we go about developing that sense. The perspective of community and belonging that Dr. Thorgren provided in her keynote, along with the knowledge she gave of St. Louise, was a perfect way for DWN to kick off our year and assist DePaul’s women on their ways to wellness.

After Dr. Thorgren spoke, the group celebrated 105 DePaul women for their roles as modern-day Louises. I left my first Women of Spirit and Action Awards with a newfound respect for St. Vincent’s right-hand woman, and also for the many women working beside me, who continue to emulate and develop the community that St. Vincent and St. Louise began hundreds of years ago.

Lauren Kriz is a member of the DWN Marketing & Communications team and the Operations Coordinator in the Office of Student Records at DePaul University.

WSA 2

Why I Walk: A Personal Tie to Heart Health

By Jaclyn Hugg

On September 26, the DePaul Women’s Network (DWN) will join a host of other campus and community teams participating in the American Heart Association (AHA) 2014 Downtown Chicago Heart Walk. With the overwhelming prevalence of cardiovascular disease among adult Americans (it’s the No. 1 killer in our country), this event’s mission is two-fold: 1) to encourage healthy lifestyle choices, and 2) to raise funds to aid AHA’s efforts to prevent, treat and defeat heart disease, stroke and other cardiovascular diseases.

Last year, I walked with the DWN team and had a great experience. Not only was the weather picture-perfect, but the chance to informally network with successful, empowering women (at all levels of the institution) for nearly two hours proved to be beneficial. Moreover, my participation brought about reflection on my personal tie to the cause—the reason I walk. The Heart Walk is special to me because when I was nine years old, my grandmother (who was then only 59) survived a heart attack and subsequent triple-bypass surgery. Two and a half years later, she had another heart attack, for which she was treated via angioplasty. With no history of drinking, smoking or obesity, my grandmother’s heart disease was attributed namely to family medical history/genetics (her father passed away at the age of 59 from a massive heart attack).

DWN Director Jaclyn Hugg and her grandmother.
DWN Director Jaclyn Hugg and her grandmother.

Fast-forward 21 years, and last October, she celebrated her 80th birthday—a milestone that may have never been possible without the life-saving drugs, medical treatment, follow-up care, and daily exercise and nutrition plan that she has maintained. I feel incredibly blessed to have had an additional 20+ years with my grandmother, as I know many of those who suffer a heart attack or stroke do not have such positive outcomes.

With knowledge of my family’s medical history, as well as the risk factors associated with these types of diseases, I do my best to maintain an active lifestyle and healthy diet. Additionally, I find value in donating to causes like the AHA, as I know that even $25 can make a difference.

If you join DWN, or any other team, at this month’s Heart Walk, I hope your experience is just as favorable as mine has been. As you take each step, remember to enjoy the scenery and the company of your fellow walkers. Please also take some time to ponder why you walk.

Click here to sign up to walk with DWN’s 2014 Heart Walk Team!

To learn more about the warning signs of heart, stroke and cardiac arrest, visit the AHA’s website.

For more specific information—including risk factors, health living tips, survivor stories and more—targeting women, visit the AHA’s Go Red for Women website.

Jaclyn Hugg serve as DWN’s Director of Service & Outreach and is Assistant Director of Advising for the College of Computing and Digital Media at DePaul University.

DWN Faculty Panel Reveals Lessons for All Working Women

On April 25, the DePaul Women’s Network hosted “Faculty Service Opportunities and Career Development Panel.” DWN Communications Team Member Laura Durnell recaps and reflects upon what participating in the event taught her.

Laura Durnell

Right before the DePaul Women’s Network’s final event of the 2013-2014 year, The Atlantic published an article called “The Confidence Gap.” In the article, authors Katty Kay and Claire Shipman presented evidence that showed women in the workforce shortchanging themselves through not pursuing opportunities or broadcasting accomplishments simply because of a lack of self-assurance.

DWN’s event reflected the issues mentioned in the article. “Twenty percent of full professors are women,” said panelist and English Professor Anne Clark Bartlett, who also serves as Special Assistant to the Provost for Innovation and Academic Planning. This revelation regarding women in academia also relates to the number of women in the workforce outside the Ivory Tower who do not often pursue or hold positions of leadership.

Even though this panel was specifically marketed to full-time faculty on the tenure track and focused on the role service plays in tenure decisions, much of the advice presented also applies to adjunct faculty, DePaul staff and all women in the workforce. Overall, the panelists provided advice and suggestions about taking initiative, strategically planning activities, and being thoughtful with time commitments regarding work advancement—all activities that would not only help build careers in and outside academia, but also build confidence.

During the panel, the accomplished and inspiring panelists used those effective strategies to discuss the role service plays in tenure decisions. The panelists also shared their stories and advice about the best way to plan and participate in service. Roxanne Owens from the College of Education, who now serves as Chair for the Department of Teacher Education, said she has served on some committees she didn’t want to, but serving allowed her to get her name out to her department and DePaul.

“But don’t be a martyr [with volunteering],” Owens warned. “Yet if you agree to serve on a committee, show up!”

Mona Shattell from the College of Nursing, who is now Associate Dean for Research and Faculty Development, said service has given her opportunities to serve on committees outside of her nursing field and to better get to know DePaul and its students. For example, she served as the faculty advisor to the DePaul Women’s A Cappella Chorus.
When she started on the tenure track, Shattell said she looked at her career goals and didn’t join a service opportunity unless it matched her goals, emphasizing, “It helped me write my narrative and align my service.”

Like Shattell, Bartlett made her service align with her goals. Until she received tenure, Bartlett devoted most of her service within her research concentration of medieval literature, specifically medieval women’s literature. During her early years on the tenure track, Bartlett organized conference panels in her field, participated in professional organizations, and spent the rest of her energy and time on research and teaching. Once she became an associate professor, Bartlett began serving on university committees, including a stint as the Faculty Council President. However, Bartlett believes a lot of service early in a professor’s career can be “a disaster. Service opportunities are always going to be there.”

Slightly disagreeing with Bartlett, Judy Bundra from the College of Music, who is also Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, encouraged professors on the tenure track to grab the service opportunities that are available and to pick ones that have a wide impact. “To not do any committees university-wide is not wise,” said Bundra. Since her adjunct days, Bundra has risen to the rank of associate professor and served as a Faculty Council representative and department dean.

Maggie Oppenheimer from the Economics Department in the College of Business echoed other panelists in stressing the importance of making contacts within one’s own field as well as at DePaul. “Get on conference programs or organizations,” Oppenheimer said. Through her service inside and outside DePaul, Bundra said she “got her name out” as well as DePaul’s.

Regarding collegiality and reputation, all of the panelists advised not just signing up for service but truly fulfilling the responsibility of serving. “It’s not in the handbook, but being a good colleague and doing your share is important,” Oppenheimer said. Current Faculty Council Chair and College of Communication Professor Michaela Winchatz agreed, mentioning the frustration regarding the noticeable absence of others when the same people repeatedly volunteer and other faculty lay low.

As important as service is, Owens cautioned tenure-track faculty members from using service as a way to avoid research. In a post-panel email, Owens wrote, “I believe people need to contribute to the university, their college, their department and their professional community through service activities—but they also need to be aware of when they are overcommitting themselves to service as a way to avoid something they might struggle with a bit more (such as writing).”

Finally, one such piece of advice that any academic and professional can embrace came from Shattell via Twitter: “Keep your CV not only up-to-date but up to the minute!”

Read more about the Twitter conversation during the panel in our Storify recap.

Laura Durnell is a member of DWN’s Communications team and is an adjunct in the Writing, Rhetoric, and Discourse Department at DePaul University.

‘Workdate’: Connecting with New Moms at DePaul

For Women’s History Month this March, DWN invited a variety guest authors to share their insights. Read on to see why #DePaulWomenRock!

Louisa Fitzgerald
Louisa Fitzgerald

By Louisa Fitzgerald

In August 2012, my daughter was born. Around the same time, several friends gave birth, and during those first months of new motherhood, we leaned on each other—commiserating about sleep patterns, nursing, developmental milestones and the major life decisions that come with having a kid. For me, as with many people, those decisions included determining whether or not I would continue to work.

I’ll spare you details of my struggle to make this decision, but ultimately, I went back to work full time. And I’m in good company—according to the U.S. Census Bureau, 44 percent of mothers return to work after three months of maternity leave.

While those numbers didn’t make the choice any easier, I had a pretty good sense of what I was giving up in terms of time with my daughter. What I didn’t expect was the loss I felt when I realized that the camaraderie I had with other new moms was slipping away. Choosing to work full time outside of the home meant giving up the important mom connections that are made during the week at the park, storytimes and playdates. But with the added pressures of balancing work with raising a baby and maintaining a household (even with dad shouldering much of the load), it seemed impossible to make those relationships a priority.

Moreover, the parenting issues I face now are largely a byproduct of the decision to work full time outside of the home. I knew that I wanted to strengthen my network of moms who could empathize with my situation. And knowing that time is always at a premium for parents of young children, I decided to make an effort to seek out new moms at DePaul.

Meeting moms is easy. Casual chats with acquaintances in elevators, meetings and even the bathroom easily turn into longer conversations about kids and often end in a passing suggestion of lunch. I used to write these offers off as a polite way to exit a pleasant conversation, but I decided to start making good on them. Once I got over the initial hesitation of sending a follow-up email, I became more proactive with my invitations.

Reaching out in this way forced me to step outside my comfort zone. I’ve never considered myself good at networking, but having motherhood as common ground allowed me to set aside my apprehension and connect with coworkers in a meaningful way. And my efforts have also helped me have a broader understanding what is going on in our university and how other people’s work is important to our shared goals. Ultimately, getting to know the people I work with beyond my team, my department and even my division has made me feel more connected to our DePaul community.

What I’ve found is that making the effort is usually appreciated. I have yet to find a mom who isn’t into the idea of chatting about her kid over lunch with someone who shares similar doubts, concerns, struggles and successes. Bonus: Being sans child usually means you can have a full-on conversation without someone melting down. Moreover, the network I’m creating for myself is playing a vital role in helping me stay sane as a working mom to a young toddler. And for me, right now, sanity is the best perk I can ask for.

Louisa Fitzgerald is Associate Director, Marketing Communications, in the University Marketing Communications, Enrollment Management and Marketing Department at DePaul University.