An afternoon panel discussion featuring four powerful “Leading Ladies” at Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University (FAMU) is garnering rave reviews. The first in a series of events called “Tell It On Tuesday” designed to celebrate National Women’s History Month featured President Elmira Mangum, Ph.D.; Provost Marcella David, J.D.; Valencia Matthews, Ph.D., dean of the College of Social Sciences, Arts and Humanities; and Barbara Barnes, Ph.D., former provost and vice president for academic affairs.
Moderator Bettye Grable, Ph.D., president of the Faculty Senate and member of the Board of Trustees, kicked off the session with a line up of questions about the professional experience of the presenters, mentorship, networking, decision making, and nuances in the leadership styles of women and men.
Grable asked speakers about the relevance of the phrase “it’s not what you know, it’s who you know.”
“There is a lot of truth in that statement,” Mangum said. “Many doors are opened through relationships. We should develop relationships, but the key is being able to stay in the position once you get it. We open doors for students, but the ability to stay in the position and advance is up to them.”
There were endearing moments during the 2-hour discussion that sometimes erupted in laughter as panelists described hobbies that are not included on their résumés. For instance, Davis recounted funny stories about her cat. Barnes is a pianist, caregiver, dancer and cook. In her early years, Matthews worked on a farm picking cotton, cucumbers, and staking out cattle. Mangum, an organ donor, pointed out the importance of signing up to save lives.
“The panel discussion presented information I couldn’t get elsewhere. It was nice to learn about the nuances and characteristics of our leaders,” said Valerie White, Ph.D., associate professor in the School of Journalism & Graphic Communication at FAMU.
“It is important to have these events so we can see a personal side of the ladies in leadership. This makes me feel as if I can talk with any of the leading ladies face-to-face,” said Narquinta Richardson, an EIT helpdesk specialist, who attended the event. “I really liked the advice that was given about leadership versus management,” Richardson added.
Richardson’s colleague concurred.
“It was very motivational in a relaxed environment. It was great conversation and they engaged the crowd, making everyone feel equal no matter their title,” said Cherry Rankin.
The next event, “Sacred Self: Making Me a Priority,” will be held on Tuesday March 17 from 2 – 5 p.m. at the Hansel E. Tookes Sr. Recreation Center, located at 2101 Wahnish Way Tallahassee, FL 32307.
Members of the Women’s History Month planning committee are:
Jacqueline Hightower, Executive Assistant to the President
Abena Ojetayo, Chief Sustainability Officer & Executive Director
Angela Adams Suggs, Associate Athletic Director for External Affairs/SWA
Delores Glover, Programmatic Leader & Senior Grant Specialist
Patricia Green-Powell, Ph.D., Interim Dean of the College of Education
Charlene Balewa, Communications Marketing Specialist
Yolanda Bogan, Ph.D., Professor and Undergraduate Coordinator, Department of Psychology
For more information, visit: www.famu.edu/WomensHistoryMonth