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.

Why DWN? I’ll Tell You…

 Great WallBy Deirdre Laverdiere

In the autumn of 2015, I started working at DePaul as a temporary employee while a woman was out on maternity leave. When I was offered a position to stay on full-time, I was thrilled. I loved working at DePaul but did not know anyone outside of my department.

My first DWN event was High Tea with Louise where I met some wonderful women who shared their experiences in and out of the university.  Right then I decided to see how I could become more involved.

I have a history of volunteering for women’s business groups; in my previous career I served on many different levels of an organization and enjoyed every minute. I found it very fulfilling to give a portion of my time to helping bring women together. I knew DWN would give me the same satisfaction and the women at DePaul have not let me down.

I started my DWN experience on the Programming team. In my first year, I helped put together the fitness event and Women of Substance event. For the fitness event, a fellow Programming team member and I were able to attach the event to HR’s Vin-cent$ Program. A wonderful campaign designed to help put money back in employee’s wallets for healthy activities.

In November 2016, while on the Programming team, I was approached to step up and head the Membership and Engagement team, which focuses on events designed for DWN members only.  (While anyone can attend an event, only members receive the invitation.) I was excited for the opportunity and since taking the lead as director, the team and I have held a night at the theater showcasing the students’ production of “We are Proud to Present a Presentation About the Herero of Namibia”. In the spring of 2017, we will be hosting a wine tasting event, learning from a sommelier how to pair wine and food together. Keep your eye out for the details coming soon.

One of the things I love about DWN is there is something for everyone, no matter your interest. Your level of involvement is up to you. The first step is joining the league of spectacular women who make up DWN. There are five different teams and I know there is one that will be a great fit for all women at DePaul –

  • Programming
  • Membership and Engagement
  • Operations
  • Service and Outreach
  • Marketing and Communications

There are three levels for you to consider: Member at large, great for the woman who wants to dip her toe but not sure of her time commitment; Team member, join one of the terrific teams and help out in your area of interest; Director, lead one of the teams and meet with the other directors on a monthly basis. Registration is now open for 2017-18 team members and directors.

It is extremely easy to apply and should only take a few minutes to become part of this phenomenal group. As a reminder, current team members must reapply if they wish to stay on their team next year, try out a different team or step up to one of the two director positions that are currently open.

Please click here to sign up today – DWN Team Member or Director. Applications to be a team member or director will be accepted until April 7, 2017.

Deirdre Laverdiere is the director of membership and engagement for DWN and the program partner director for the Center for Sales Leadership at DePaul.

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 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.

National Catholic Sisters Week Highlights Women’s Leadership

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

Patricia Bombard, BVM
Patricia Bombard, BVM

By Patricia Bombard, BVM

March is my favorite month of the year. There are so many life-giving things to celebrate during March, including Women’s History Month. This year there is an added event: National Catholic Sisters Week, which will debut March 8-14. Last August, St. Catherine University in Minnesota received a $3.3 million grant from the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation “to launch an initiative to heighten public awareness of the lives and contributions of Catholic sisters.”

According to organizers at St. Catherine’s, the new initiative will center on the contributions of Catholic sisters in five areas:

  1. Education
  2. Health care
  3. Social change
  4. The Church and spiritual life
  5. Women’s leadership

Here at DePaul, it is the leadership story of Louise de Marillac, co-founder with St. Vincent de Paul of the Daughters of Charity, which especially inspires us. Though she was born out of wedlock, and never knew her mother, Louise had a loving relationship with her father, Louis de Marillac, who saw to her education and care. Later, as a young widow and single parent, Louise met Vincent, who became her spiritual advisor.

Strongly motivated by her faith, and encouraged by Vincent, Louise eventually gathered a small community of women dedicated to serving the poor by visiting them in their own homes. Perhaps inspired by her own vulnerable background, Louise later led the women in expanding their charitable works to the care of abandoned children. They began by removing 12 children from a government-run facility into their own home. Within five years, the women were caring for as many as 1,200 infants.

Still not finished, the women eventually conducted soup kitchens at three sites in Paris, serving as many as 7,000 meals a day. They also worked to improve the living conditions for prisoners and opened schools to teach occupational skills to poor girls. They also established homes for the elderly, who earned a little money for personal goods through the sale of craft items.

Louise directed all of these activities through a collaborative leadership style that integrated contemplation and action and made extensive use of what we might call today “social networking.”

Louise once wrote to her sisters in community regarding the importance of integrating one’s inner sense of virtue with one’s outer life of serving others: “Oh, my dear Sisters, it is not enough to be Daughters of Charity in name, and it is not enough to be in the service of the poor sick, you must possess the true and solid virtues which you know are essential if you are to accomplish well the work in which you are so happy to be employed. Otherwise, Sisters, your work would be practically useless.”

Sr. Margaret John Kelly, D.C., in writing about Louise’s leadership, describes Louise as a proponent of “gentle power,” which she understood as power tempered by gentleness. Yet at the same time, Kelly says, Louise was a “total realist about her sisters and matched their training to their talents.”

Richard McCullen, C.M., writes that Louise “had a facility of collaborating easily with others.” Vincent himself described her as always expressing “humility, charity, meekness and patience” while at the same time exhibiting “a firmness in all her government” and “sound judgment.”

With Vincent’s help, Louise organized the women as the Daughters of Charity, a community of sisters that eventually spread worldwide. During her lifetime, Louise often wrote to the women stationed away from Paris. Sr. Lucy Archer writes of Louise’s concern for the women expressed in her letters: “Nearly every letter contains news of relatives, enquiries about this one, messages to another…these letters show what thoroughly homely relations existed between Louise and her spiritual daughters.”

Today, there are 18,000 members of the Daughters of Charity serving in 94 countries.

St. Catherine University offers a list of ideas for how other colleges and universities can participate in National Catholic Sisters Week.

If you have yet to see it, I highly recommend viewing “Band of Sisters,” a film by Mary Fishman that premiered in Chicago in 2012. It tells the story of Catholic sisters and their movement into new works of social justice after Vatican II and features many sisters from the Chicago area. In addition, you can pick up a copy of “Sewing Hope,” the extraordinary story of Sr. Rosemary Nyirumbe, who received an honorary degree from DePaul’s School for New Learning last December in recognition of her work with young girls brutalized by Ugandan rebels.

It’s March—spring is coming. Get inspired by these women, then go out and spread some seeds of new life!

Patricia Bombard, BVM, is the director of DePaul University’s Vincent on Leadership: The Hay Project, which focuses on research, education and training inspired by the leadership legacy of St. Vincent de Paul. She also serves as an adjunct faculty member in the School of Public Service.

Celebrating Success and Looking Ahead

DWN President Joy Boggs
Joy Boggs, DWN President 2013-14

Happy New Year, Network!

When think of all our DePaul Women’s Network has accomplished in our first six months together, I get giddy–no, like downright giddy. We’ve done some extraordinary things, you and I, and did them in short order. Can you imagine that prior to our service year, July 1, 2013, DWN had less than 15 members? Now look at us–we’re over three times the size and our advisory council grew from two to 12 all within a three-month recruitment window.

In my book, tripling your size counts as an amazing accomplishment, and it makes me glad that our phenomenal growth was the first of our many achievements. (Trust me on this, we are racking up a really great list.) Here are some quick highlights of what we’ve done so far:

  1. We deepened our relationship with our sister affinity groups and with the President’s Diversity Council.
  2. We cultivated new partnerships with departments, groups and academic units from across the university.
  3. We diversified our programming and brought in industry leaders to speak on hot topics (remember Connie Lindsey’s speech?).
  4. We delivered value by creating opportunities for DePaul Women to connect and share experiences and best practices.

The old saying is true: Time does fly when you’re having fun. It is my hope that you are having as much fun as I am, if not more, because I’m having the time of my life and I owe my experience to you. The energy and commitment you bring to our Network inspires me to do my all and to finish this year on a high note. Speaking of which, pull out your calendars–you’ll need them:

  1. A Conversation for Leadership (January 31 In-Service): One of the benefits to being a member of the team is our quarterly in-service program. Joining us at our second gathering will be five senior women leaders empaneled who will share parts of their professional story. This is an opportunity not to be missed.
  2. Diversity Showcase (February 25): If you enjoyed the Louise de Marillac Women of Spirit & Action Awards, then mark your calendar for this event. Our Network, in partnership with our sister affinity groups (DPUBLC, LEAD, ELEVATE, and the LGBTQ Faculty and Staff Network), will host the President’s Diversity Council’s first ever Diversity Showcase. The showcase will be a morning of meaningful dialogues designed to spark new learning about what it means to be a member of our DePaul family.
  3. Women’s History Month (March): Get ready to celebrate as our Network does something special with a targeted series honoring women of diverse cultures. Stay tuned to social media (Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn) for more details.
  4. Calling the Next Generation of Leaders (April): We round into spring with our annual call for new team members. What does it mean to be a member of DWN? For me and the Directorate, membership means that you willingly contribute your time and your talent to shape DWN’s agenda and to execute Network activities. As you know, DWN programs are open to all DePaul Women and sometimes to men as well. The Network welcomes members of our DePaul family; however, membership is an active responsibility. If you are a DePaul Woman, whether faculty or staff, adjunct or part-timer, and are looking to deepen your relationship with DWN, I invite you to learn more about how you can get involved.

We began the 2013-14 service year out with a huge goal, one worthy of our team: Transform the Network. I’m so glad to report that we’ve made great strides to move our Network from an extracurricular activity into a co-curricular project.

Keep up the good work, everyone. I look forward to seeing you at our next event, and I if I don’t see you in person, I hope to see you out on social media.

All the best,


Joy Boggs is President of DePaul Women’s Network for 2013-14 and is Business Manager for the Office of the General Counsel at DePaul University.

Spirited Advice from the Women of Spirit & Action Awards

On Nov. 5, the DePaul University community joined together in the spirit of St. Louise de Marillac’s legacy to celebrate more than 100 faculty, staff and student honorees at the 2013-14 Women of Spirit & Action (WSA) Awards ceremony. The event was co-sponsored by the DePaul Women’s Network (DWN) and the Office of Institutional Diversity and Equity. DWN Communications Team Member Jaclyn Hugg recaps and reflects upon the key themes of the signature DWN event.

If you attended the WSA Awards ceremony this week, chances are something about the event left an impression on you. Perhaps it was the fellowship you shared with colleagues and students over breakfast, a story told by the keynote speaker, or the joy you felt in either receiving a WSA award or knowing someone else who did.

For me, the vibrant essence of the celebration, which challenged notions of purpose and leadership and recognized the good works of women across the institution, prompted some internal inquiry that I would like to share with you, and ask that you ponder as well.

WSA MirrorWhen I look in the mirror, who do I see in the reflection? Do I see a friend, a sister, a mentor, a leader? Do I see a woman of spirit and action? Who am I, and who am I becoming?

When contemplating these questions, I began to reference the wisdom shared with us by the event’s keynote speaker, Connie Lindsey. Whereas Lindsey shared a whole host of valuable research and advice, I offer up the following five takeaways from her address that resonated most with me:

1. Match intention with attention

Do you wake up each morning and set an intention for the day? If so, are you mindful about matching your intention with your attention in order to accomplish what you set out to do? Lindsey said that we all suffer from what she calls, “intention deficit disorder.” It is simple human nature to get off-task and forget what we originally planned to accomplish. However, the good news is that, with practice, we can easily train ourselves to refocus our attention to align with our intentions.

2. Collaborate

As leaders, it is imperative to band together toward a common goal. As Lindsey explained, “There is no prize to being the lonely only.” Collaboration becomes increasingly vital for leaders who are women, because in order to create more balanced leadership, our voices need to be heard. More voices = bigger impact!

3. Stir up the bottom

Lindsey told a story of a time when she and her husband were spending a morning together one weekend, enjoying a hot cup of coffee—a vanilla latte, to be exact. The first couple sips of the drink caught her off-guard because she did not taste any of the vanilla flavoring. It was not until she stirred her coffee, that it began to taste like the vanilla latte she expected. “If you stir up the bottom,” she said, “the flavor can rise to the top.” And so I ask, what’s in your cup of life? What has been living inside of you just waiting to surface?

4. Don’t be afraid to love

Can love coexist with leadership? Absolutely—it should! “This is not the sentimental kind of love. Rather, it’s the kind that uplifts and strengthens,” Lindsey clarified.

5. Establish principles to live by

Lindsey shared a number of principles that have helped shape and guide her life, and encouraged the audience to establish a set of their own.

  • Be willing to stand alone
  • Live and walk in integrity
  • Listen twice as much as you speak
  • Live fearlessly and authentically by being bold and courageous
  • Connect your soul with your role

If I have captured your attention this long, I would like to offer you some homework. The assignment: Take a look in the mirror to assess how you—both as an individual and as a member of the DePaul family—are contributing to the noble quest to live more like St. Louise. Who do you see in the mirror’s reflection? What has your spirit been called to act on?

Remember that the ideals of compassionate personalism and the ability to get things done, demonstrated by St. Louise, can be lived out in many sizes and forms of service. If you are a student, maybe this means that you join and/or take on a leadership role within a student organization such as HerCDM or Future Women in Finance. For faculty and staff, perhaps you decide to participate in DePaul’s annual Vincentian Service Day, write a letter of recommendation for a student whom you mentor or get involved with DWN. The opportunities truly are endless to make your mark at DePaul and to embody the qualities of a modern-day Louise through spirit and action.

We would like to thank the following DWN members and friends of the Network for their contributions to this year’s WSA Awards ceremony: Sister Katie Norris, D.C.; keynote speaker Connie Lindsey; DWN leaders Joy Boggs, Jennifer McClelland and Aileen Johnson; and the full DWN Service & Outreach Team.

Jaclyn Hugg is a member of DWN’s Communications team and is Assistant Director of Advising for the College of Computing and Digital Media at DePaul University.

There’s Still Time to Join DWN!

If you want to share you talents with the DePaul Women’s Network in the coming year but missed our earlier recruitment deadlines, don’t fret: there’s still time!

Thinking about joining DWN but not sure where you fit? Join the Mission & Service team. Mission & Service keeps our Vincentian and Catholic heritage alive by actively seeking out service partnerships and service opportunities within and outside of the DePaul community.

If that doesn’t appeal to you, then join the Outreach team. Outreach is our resident “fun squad” (who couldn’t use a little fun?). Outreach supports our overall mission of connecting DePaul women faculty and staff through informal networking events. If you consider yourself high energy and love meeting new people, this is the team for you.

Don’t like either of those options? Join the Events team. Events is responsible for our annual Women’s Conference and Women of Spirit and Action Awards. If you thought last year’s conference was good, wait until next year’s conference.

Basic stuff: DWN doesn’t ask members to pay dues. Instead we ask that you contribute your time and your talents to our work. The average member spends about an hour a week on DWN activities. Can you spare an hour? In return for your hour of service, you will have access to a network of interesting and dynamic women who are committed to quality service and personal development.

How to Apply

1. Download the application materials:

2. Email the signed manager support and completed member application forms, along with your resume, to DWN​ with attention to president-elect Joy Boggs. Please also email us if you have any questions.

DWN team members
DWN team members from FY13 smile after a successful event.