By LIZ MACLEAN
The annual Women’s History Month Luncheon will be held on Wednesday, March 29, from 12-1 p.m. on the ninth floor of Vaughn. The luncheon will feature guest speaker Colonel Deidre Dixon, Ph.D., an assistant professor of management at UT and the associate director of the TECO Energy Center for Leadership.
“The theme for this year’s luncheon is going to be ‘Dress Like a Woman’ and will look at an example of all the traditional and non-traditional ways that UT’s women dress today as we exercise our varied talents in pursuit of unlimited passions, goals and dreams,” said Jeanne Roberts, director of Institutional Research in Operations and Planning at UT. 182 guests have RSVP’d to the luncheon so far.
“Given the rich discussion that has been occurring regarding this topic in today’s political world, I think that this theme will really allow us to have the kind of discussion that will lead to our emerging women leaders to shape what it means to be a leader in today’s society and for our more ‘seasoned’ women leaders, this discussion will allow us to reflect on who we are as leaders and if this is how we want to be perceived,” said Shannon Calega, the director of Orientation and Family Engagement, Student Affairs, at UT.
Tor Leyboldt, a sophomore communication major, said she has never heard of the annual UT Women’s History Month Luncheon, but loves the idea.
“I think it is so important for people to understand accomplishments of different women around the world, especially in today’s climate,” Leyboldt said. “I’m always seeing people say things like, ‘Women aren’t meant to do things that men are meant to do’ or ‘Feminists are just entitled women complaining.’ It’s important to erase this stigma of feminism, because really feminism is not just about about women empowering each other, it’s about equality of the sexes.”
The speakers at the luncheons aim to do this as they give life inspiration to the young women and men in the audience. Last year, the theme for the luncheon was honoring women in public service and government and was attended by many students, who had the chance to interact with the guest speakers and UT professors, as they will this year.
“In my opinion, the best thing about having an annual Women’s History Month Luncheon is the opportunity it provides to ‘pass the torch,’ so to speak, to the current generation of young women and instill in them a sense of their history, as well as the importance of current events and the issues that demand their attention and action today,” Roberts said. “The luncheons are also a great venue for networking, possibly meeting a mentor, and for learning about some really great role models.”
To RSVP to the luncheon, email firstname.lastname@example.org and include any dietary restrictions.
Liz MacLean can be reached at email@example.com.