2015 State Conference
Surfing the Waves of Change
March 29-31, Galveston
Recap of 2015 State Conference
The 2015 Texas Women in Higher Education Annual Conference, themed “Surfing the Waves of Change,” was held March 29 – 31, 2015 at the Hotel Galvez in Galveston, Texas. A total of 200 people attended, representing 57 institutions as well as several non-profit organizations, consulting groups, and supporting businesses. Eighty Institutional Representatives gathered for dinner on the Sunday prior to the conference and discussed TWHE activities and organization at the campus and regional levels.
The conference featured enlightening and inspirational speakers such as Ginger Kerrick, the Flight Operations Assistant Director for International Space Station operations, 2010 Texas Poet Laureate Karla Morton, and Dr. Merna Jacobson, who presented on leadership patterns and influential leadership. Between general sessions, participants had the choice of twelve concurrent sessions on a wide variety of topics within the subjects of leadership, wellbeing, career advancement, and personal branding.
In addition, the conference presented video segments produced by Becky Trout, Executive Director of Community Relations in the UTMB Office of Health Policy & Legislative Affairs. These vignettes, entitled “Her Stories,” shared the personal journeys to leadership of four women leaders, each representing different functional areas and institutional types. The featured women included: Dr. Beth Lewis, President, College of the Mainland; Kelli Shomaker, Senior Vice President for Finance and Administration, Blinn College; Dr. Joan Nichols, Professor, Internal Medicine & Infectious Diseases and Microbiology & Immunology, Associate Director of Research and Operations, Galveston National Laboratory, University of Texas Medical Branch; Dr. Cynthia Hernandez, Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs, Texas A&M University.
Plenty of opportunities were provided for participants to network during conference lunches and breaks. The social gatherings incorporated additional networking opportunities along with time to relax and rejuvenate. The Monday evening mixer was held at the beautiful and historic Moody Mansion and included guided tours, live piano music, and access to the Galveston Children’s Museum. Additionally, participants had the opportunity to take part in a Tuesday morning 5k walk and run along the Galveston Seawall.
Comments from participants:
I really enjoyed the Her Stories and the other inspirational women leaders. I love listening to women who have had to overcome challenges to get to where they are.
This was my first time attending a conference like this. The perspective, the speakers, the sessions, the energy…just awesome!
My favorite sessions were the Her stories, the personal, soft skill development and professional development, mix of keynotes and concurrent sessions.
I really enjoyed it! I plan on coming next year.