2016 Women's Leadership Institute: Leadership Talks

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Core Competencies: Communications, Fiscal Management, Human Resource Development, Leadership, Management, Planning
December 6 – December 9, 2016
Dana Point, Calif.

Leadership Talks: Developing Women’s Professional Confidence

Thursday, Dec. 8, 10:30 a.m.–12:15 p.m.

The Radical Act of No
Sumi Pendakur

The Power of Collaboration
Amma Marfo

Be the Architect of Your Own Life
Ann Marie Klotz

Why do bright, capable, women say that they “aren’t ready” for professional opportunities? Women who possess confidence at work are more likely to be recognized and promoted yet some fear using their voice at work because of the backlash that can occur when women display competence and confidence in the workplace. This TED Talk-like session showcases three women who have chosen different personal and professional paths yet have remained steadfast in owning and celebrating their choices unapologetically. Each will describe their strategies for building and sustaining confidence despite professional obstacles and personal obligations.

In this session, participants will:

  • Learn strategies for building professional confidence
  • Reflect on the times when they have opted to say “yes” when they wanted to say “no” and vice versa.
  • Discuss the role of collaboration in building strong personal and professional networks as a key factor in sustaining confidence.
  • Be empowered to build the life they want by creating strategies to achieve their professional goals.
  • Create a career map to determine next steps of their professional journey.
  • Gain an accountability buddy to encourage them to consistently make progress on their goals post-WLI.

Sumun Pendakur, Ed.D., is associate dean for institutional diversity at Harvey Mudd College. Pendakur is a member of the President’s Cabinet and serves as the co-chief diversity officer, partnering with academic affairs, to focus on campus-wide efforts related to access, equity, campus climate, and inclusion. She also directs the college's social justice education center, Sumun Pendakurthe Office of Institutional Diversity. Prior to Harvey Mudd College, Sumi spent 7.5 years at the University of Southern California, where she served as the director for Asian Pacific American Student Services. In 2011, she won the USC Remarkable Women Award and the USC Rossier School of Education Dissertation of the Year Award. In 2014, she won the Outstanding Mid-Level Professional Award from the NASPA Asian Pacific Islander Knowledge Community. Pendakur is a graduate of Northwestern University with a double major in women’s studies and history and a minor in Spanish. She holds an M.A. in higher education administration from the University of Michigan. She received her doctorate in higher education leadership from the USC Rossier School of Education. Pendakur is married to actor Sunil Malhotra and is the proud (and permanently tired) mommy of 3-year-old Shashi Veer Pendakur Malhotra.

Amma Marfo is a thoughtful yet incurably silly independent higher education professional, writer, and editor based in Boston. She holds a bachelor’s degree in communication studies from the University of Rhode Island, and a Master of Education from the University of South Florida. Marfo is an avid and prolific writer; she writes often for her own blog (The Dedicated Amma MarfoAmateur), is a contributing editor to the Niche Movement Blog, and guest blogs in a variety of other places (IdeaBlend EDU, NASPA SLP-KC and TKC blogs, The Good Project). Her first book, The I’s Have It: Reflections on Introversion in Student Affairs, was released in January 2014; her second, Light It Up, was released in October 2015. She works closely with NASPA, NACA, and the Lead365 National Conference. She is an outspoken advocate for creativity, believes strongly in the power of humor, and looks forward to helping you find the way you live and work best.

Ann Marie Klotz, Ed.D., is the dean for campus life and senior student affairs officer on the Manhattan campus of the New York Institute of Technology. Previously, she spent 14 years working in housing and residence life at Oregon State University, DePaul University, Ball State University, and Albion College. She earned her B.A. from Grand Valley State University Ann Marie Klotz(political science) and master's degrees from Michigan State University (student affairs) and DePaul University (women and gender studies) respectively. She earned her doctorate from DePaul University where she studied the career trajectory and leadership styles of 10 female university presidents. She has served in multiple regional and national roles for NASPA, most notably with the Women in Student Affairs Knowledge Community. She is the recent recipient of the ACPA Standing Committee for Women Research and Scholarship Award. Personal and research interests include women’s career development, professional staff recruitment, developing online communities, personal branding, and first-generation college students. She can usually be found running in Central Park or running in high heels to work in NYC.


Updated Sept. 27, 2016