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Women’s Leadership Institute Accepting Applications


The Women’s Leadership Institute of Furman University is now accepting applications for the 2017 class.

The series for 2017, themed “Reflection, Transformation and Self,” includes four half-day sessions and a graduation ceremony, all of which take place on the Furman University campus. Tuition for the Women’s Leadership Institute is $1,350.00. Applications and tuition (upon notification of acceptance) are due by Dec. 16. Scholarships are available.

Sessions are scheduled for 8:30 a.m.-1 p.m., Jan. 24, Feb. 22, March 23 and April 19. Graduation takes place May 4, 6-8 p.m.

Says Dr. Brad Bechtold, Executive Director of Continuing Education at Furman University, “We live in an increasingly global society and are faced with tremendous economic, political and cultural challenges. Now, more than ever, we need inspired leaders—women who can be transformative in business, politics, communities, and our universities. Cultivating a culture of civility and collegiality can require a deft touch in today’s turbulent times.”


“Reflection, Transformation and Self” are themes for the 2017 series of four half-day sessions which take place Jan.-April 2017.

In session one, Dr. Margaret Oakes, Professor of English, explores important questions such as, “How do we know what to say ‘yes’ to?” and “When do we decide to say ‘no’ and how to apologize for it (or not)?”  She will illustrate the art of crafting a message that is polite and direct, and prevents women from falling into the “I’m sorry” trap which can cause them to be seen as ineffective on the job.

In session two, Dr. Cynthia King, Department Chair and Associate Professor of Communication Studies, examines the effective use of voice in the workplace. Participants are introduced to the expansive view of “voice” as an attribute informed by personal philosophy and core values; competence and professionalism; and integrity and courage. Participants also learn to develop a mindset that cultivates a “voice” that will help them thrive in the workplace.

Throughout the spring, these and other relevant topics will be explored in the four-session program taught by Drs. Sarah Worth, Virginia Gerde, Beth Pontari, Meghan Slining, Cynthia King, Margaret Oakes, Maegan Azar and Kim Keefer.  Robyn Knox, VP of Human Resources for Southern Weaving; Lillian Brock Flemming, City Council; Christy Thompson, VP of Worldwide Marketing, ScanSource; Kim Hutzell, CEO of Girl Scouts, Mountains to Midlands; and Rep. Chandra Dillard will serve as guest speakers.

For more information, please visit the Women’s Leadership Institute, or contact Dr. Brad Bechtold at (864) 294-3136 or by email at


Last updated November 4, 2016
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Clinton Colmenares
News & Media Relations Director