Aggie Women leaders speak at the 2021 Women’s Leadership Reception | Life & Arts

Inspirational leaders from Aggie shared their influential stories at the 2021 Annual Women’s Leadership Reception at Messina Hof Winery and Resort.

As part of a collaboration between the Aggie Women Network, Texas A&M University Women’s Resource Center and Messina Hof Winery and Resort, the Women’s Leadership Reception is held annually on the first Thursday in September. to celebrate Aggie’s women leaders. This year’s event was held September 2 from 5:45-8 p.m., with speakers including A&M President Mr. Katherine Banks, Student Body President Natalie Parks, Staff Council President academic Cynthia Billington and graduate and professional student body president Staci Rende.

In her keynote address, President Banks spoke about the resilience of the Aggie Women.

“Resilience is how you work through the expected and unexpected parts of life,” Banks said. “There are so many examples of resilience in the Aggies stories…resilience is a decision.”

The next steps A&M will take will be to work to escalate A&M as an institution, Banks said.

“I hope we all work together to elevate this institution,” Banks said. “[Aggies] have a shared dedication to the school’s mission based on our unique traditions and core values.

Rende said his big vision for A&M was for students to create their own solutions to problems.

“With COVID[-19] we saw a lot of solutions coming out of all of this,” Rende said. “[A&M] was the first for many different things, we were the first institution to open our recreation center in the country, we came up with many different solutions to address many different challenges that arose in the last year. I hope to look to the future and see that we will continue to be those pioneers and have faith in what we are doing.

Aggie Women Network board member Heather Wheeler said each year the reception of women’s leadership grows.

“It’s amazing how we’ve had this event for seven years, and every year it gets bigger,” Wheeler said. “For the first time this year, we have women in all leadership positions on campus. I’ve seen some of these student leaders grow as they hold these positions, so it’s really cool to see them honored tonight and everyone listening to what they have to say… I love having the opportunity to amplify their voice.

Aggie Women Network President-Elect Stephanie Murphy said hearing the advice of Aggie women leaders and their relevant struggles helps Aggie women in a positive way.

“The speakers here tonight make it easy to relate to and their stories are so inspiring,” Murphy said. “They make you feel like you’re not alone. Being in this room full of women makes you feel connected and empowered, and that’s such a positive reflection of the Aggie Network…it’s so focused on women supporting other women.

Murphy said she loved being part of the Aggie Women’s Network, especially because the Aggies in her family attended A&M before women were allowed in college.

“I’ve always enjoyed being part of the Aggie Women Network, both as a student here and as an alumna,” Murphy said. “Being part of the Aggie Women Network gives me the chance to give back and help other Aggie women continue to grow in their careers. [who may have fallen behind compared to men]. ”

The student leaders who spoke on the panel with Banks were just as important as the university president, Murphy said.

“Even though they are young, their wisdom and leadership traits are just as impactful as what Dr. Banks shared,” Murphy said.

Mara R. Wilmoth