Student, alumni, staff, faculty, and friends who identify as women are welcome to experience the second Women’s Empowerment Summit. This two-day event will offer a chance to learn from and network with many others excited to share their stories about what it means to be resilient women. The FREE event has been designed to offer sessions in self-exploration, mentorship, and thriving in the workforce.
Empowering Resilient Women
Friday, March 31 and Saturday, April 1
Staying in Bloomington
A limited room block has been secured at the IMU Biddle Hotel for Friday, March 31. Use code EMPOWER23 for a discount. Biddle Hotel rooms are available on a first-come, first-served basis.
Make a reservation at the Biddle Hotel
Meet Jori Mundy, our keynote speaker
Award-winning keynote speaker, executive, #1 best selling co-author, life and career coach, Jori Mundy is known for taking her audiences on a journey by captivating them in edge of the seat story-telling eliciting laughter, joy, happiness, and even tears.
Featured speakers (More to come!)
Melissa Cantarero Weiss, MPA’08
An executive leader with 15 years of experience in local government, Cantarero Weiss currently serves as the deputy city manager of Wauwatosa, Wisconsin and is an International City/County Management Association credentialed manager. Engaging Local Government Leaders named her as a top influencer in local government in 2019 and 2021. In 2013, the Wisconsin City County Manager Association recognized her for her outstanding achievement in local government management.
Noelle Gipson, BSPA’16
Gipson is a dynamic and driven professional with a track record of building relationships, managing teams throughout the project lifecycle, and guiding others to success. She is an expert at forming cross-functional teams and providing world-class training to ensure that leaders of today and tomorrow have the tools they need to make a difference in the world. When Gipson is not serving as a strategic thought partner and project manager in her daytime role at the University of Chicago, she enjoys serving as an assistant coach for the university’s women’s volleyball program.
Lauren Hall Riggins, MPA-MAAA’16
Holding master’s degrees in education, public affairs, and arts administration, Hall Riggins has worked in education, nonprofit leadership, policy, and advocacy for over a decade. During that time, she has developed a deep conviction that education remains a vital tool for addressing generational poverty and systemic racism. Currently, she works with many youth organizations leveraging the literary arts movement to advance healing, cross-cultural understanding, justice, and joy.
Cheryl Hall Russell, Ed.D., MA, MPA ’99
With over 20 years of executive leadership in the nonprofit and corporate sectors, Hall-Russell has focused the bulk of her career working in underserved communities. After completing her doctorate in leadership and administration, she established her DEI qualitative research firm, Black Women Wise Women. Through her firm, she works with organizations committed to establishing cultures that center on equity. Hall-Russell is drawn to organizations that pride themselves on creating inclusive cultures and setting and achieving goals with accountability structures. She is also a published writer, podcaster, and blogger. Through these channels, she moderates a live public affairs program that engages Black viewers on health, education, arts, and politics. Currently, Dr. Hall-Russell serves as vice-chair of the Planned Parenthood SWPA Board and the chair of the O’Neill School’s Distinguished Alumni Committee.
Traci Jovanovic, MPA’87
Jovanovic is vice president/general manager, WW consumer and device sales, at Microsoft. Highlights of her 30-year career in technology include retail sales, multi-unit management, operations, marketing and extensive sales and leadership experience at Microsoft, Sprint, and Verizon Wireless. She completed Georgetown University and Duke University executive leadership courses in 2010 and 2008, respectively. As a professional and community leader, giving back and mentoring are Jovanovic's passions. She has worked with numerous community organizations and mentoring centers within her career, receiving both the Sprint “Good Works” Award and the National Executive Champion of the Year from the Elevate ERG Academy in 2014.
Rachael Sargent, MPA-MSES’21
With a concentration on environmental policy and natural resource management, Sargent currently works in the private sector as a consultant specializing in sustainability and public engagement. During her time at O’Neill, she pursued independent study in soil health. She worked with the IU Campus Farm to analyze soil health indicators and develop recommendations for best practices. Previously, she has worked on energy management at IU Bloomington, drinking water quality for the City of Bloomington, and underground storage tank management for the Indiana Department of Environmental Management.
Smith is a wellness educator, author, and community servant passionate about helping ambitious people and organizations better integrate wellness into their life and career for total success. She believes your wellness journey is directly correlated to the attainment of your life goals. Learn more at Ye Self Care where Smith is the lead project manager.
Originally from Detroit, Michigan, Smith is a doctoral student in the Urban Education Studies program at IUPUI. With a research focus on the experiences of bodies that identify as fat, Smith dedicates her scholarship to creating celebratory spaces for the marginalized identities that she holds. She aims to ensure the work and narratives around bigger bodies are included in academia while challenging the dominant ideologies around body image acceptance. As such, Smith centers her work within the DEI sector as she pulls from her experiences working with first-generation, low-income students, racial equity, and eradicating injustices for underrepresented populations.
Director of the Master of Science in Healthcare Management program at O’Neill, Grudi has over a decade of leadership experience in the healthcare field. She remains passionate about leadership development, change management, and lean/process improvement.
Schedule of events
- 6:00 - 9:00 PM: Opening Reception
Featuring Dean Siân Mooney and Keynote Speaker Jori Mundy
- 8:00 - 8:30 AM: Meet and Greet with Dean Mooney
Light breakfast provided.
- 8:35 - 8:50 AM: Introduction/Welcome from the Dean
- 9:00 - 9:50 AM: Breakout Session 1: Self-Exploration
Identify who you are and learn how to lead!
- 10:10 - 11:00 AM: Breakout Session 2: Mentorship
Find your mentor and create a community!
- 11:20 AM - 12:00 PM: Plenary: Focused Group Networking
Speed dating for creating a network of resilient women.
- 12:00 - 1:00 PM: Lunch
- 1:00 - 1:30 PM: Plenary: Legislative Update
Learn about upcoming state and federal legislation affecting women.
- 1:30 - 2:20 PM: Breakout Session 3: Workforce
Skills and tricks to survive the always evolving workforce!
- 2:40 - 3:30 PM: Breakout Session 4: Workplace
Learn to be heard and overcome the double standard!
- 3:50 - 4:40 PM: Plenary: Roundtables
Discussions may include salary negotiation, work-life balance, etc.
- 4:45- 5:00 PM: Wrap up!