Louisiana Center for Women and Government preps for busy year

THIBODAUX – Budget cuts to higher education notwithstanding, the Louisiana Center for Women and Government at Nicholls State University is preparing for an eventful 2009 — including a Hall of Fame ceremony headlined by two of the nation’s most respected political consultants.

Established in 1991, the center encourages and promotes the leadership of women by providing resources and non-partisan support through educational workshops, training seminars and outreach programs. With more than 600 members from eight regions across Louisiana, the center promotes women in government and public service, acknowledges achievements of women and teaches all citizens about the importance of public service and responsible citizenship.

Center-sponsored events and programs in 2009 include:

  • Hall of Fame

Each year, up to four Louisiana women are inducted into the Louisiana Center for Women and Government Hall of Fame. The 2009 honorees include Phyllis Mayo, special assistant to the governor on women’s policy; Ann Milling, founder of Women of the Storm; Lily Moskal, founder of Success Seminars; and Rosemary Ewing, preservationist and public service activist. The induction ceremony — slated for Saturday, March 28, at the Hilton Riverside Hotel in New Orleans — will feature political consultants James Carville and Mary Matalin as keynote speakers.

  • Congress to Campus

Tentatively scheduled for mid-April, Congress to Campus will be hosted by the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. Former members of Congress will conduct classes, forums, informal meetings with university and community members, and interviews with local press and media — all designed to instruct and encourage future leaders.

  • Louisiana Girls Leadership Academy

Designed to develop the leadership skills of selected girls entering the 8th through the 11th grades, the academy focuses on communication, situational leadership, public service, responsible citizenship and current issues. The three-day academy will kick off Thursday, June 18, at Nicholls. Columbine massacre survivor Craig Scott is scheduled as keynote speaker.

  • National Women’s Leadership Summit

Tentatively scheduled for Thursday, Sept. 24, through Saturday, Sept. 26, in New Orleans, the National Women’s Leadership Summit will draw approximately 300 women leaders from throughout the nation to discuss issues that are traditionally reserved for men — such as the chief 2009 topic, energy and the environment. Honorary chairs include Democratic U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu of Louisiana and Republican U.S. Sen. Olympia Snowe of Maine.

  • Internship Program

Launched in Spring 1992, the ongoing internship program allows both male and female students to earn 15 hours of college credit, along with a stipend, while gaining hands-on experience working in a governmental office. Participants work four days per week and spend one day per week in the classroom. Those assigned to offices in Baton Rouge are provided dormitory space. Currently, four interns are participating in the program.

“The fact that Louisiana Center for Women and Government programming has skyrocketed from regionally based to statewide influence — and will have a national prominence in 2009 — means the opening of more leadership opportunities for Louisiana women,” said Dr. Laura Badeaux, director of the center.

“Nicholls State University is the hub from which such public service promotion and learning experiences emanate, suggesting the importance of both the center and the university to responsible citizenship and effective leadership in Louisiana.”

For additional information, call the Louisiana Center for Women and Government at (985) 448-4770.

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