110 Titan LeadHERS honored


Christina Basken

Plaques of leadHERs are displayed on the second floor hallway in Reeve Memorial Union in honor of Women’s HERstory Month celebrated on campus.

Megan Behnke, News Writer

In celebration of International Women’s Day, the UW Oshkosh Women’s Center put on multiple events.

Coffee and Connection, held on March 8, brought students together to celebrate International Women’s Day at the Women’s Center with hot chocolate, coffee, tea and virtual reality on the PS4 and coloring sheets.

The Titan LeadHERship Conference, held on March 9 in the Reeve Union Ballroom, worked toward closing the gender leadership gap by inspiring and preparing women students to actively pursue leadership positions.

Women’s Center Director Dr. Alicia Johnson said the Center is celebrating Women’s HERstory Month instead of Women’s History Month.

“We made the switch just to provide enough of a disruption that gets people to pause and think about the ways in which women have been written out of history and whose stories they haven’t been hearing,” Johnson said.

In honor of International Women’s Day and HERstory Month, students and staff can view the Titan LeadHER photo gallery in Reeve, which is available for viewing all month long.

Women’s Center Titan Femtorship and LeadHERship Coordinator Gina Delelio said the exhibit depicts 110 images of female-identified leadHERs on campus and their inspirational narratives.

“It is intended to promote leadHERship and empowHERment on campus throughout Women’s HERstory Month,” Delelio said. “The goal of this exhibit is to recognize current and inspire future women-identified leadHERs on campus.”

UWO Inter-Tribal Student Organization President and Titan LeadHERship nominee Tatum DePerry said she thinks that everyone can learn from the gallery.

“Simply because it highlights all of our amazing leaders who are women,” DePerry said. “A lot of these are behind the scenes and may not be seen every day, and it is important for these women to get the credit they deserve.”

UWO National Society of Leadership and Success Chapter President and Titan LeadHERship nominee Braini McKenzie said representation matters when having leadHERship.

“I think woman-identified leadHERs bring a fresh and much needed perspective to the table,” McKenzie said. “Every voice matters and being able to represent others who may not have a seat at the table ensures that we have an inclusive community.”

Johnson said she hopes that people celebrate the accomplishments of women every day and challenge the sexism that women continue to experience on a daily basis.

“I think it’s important to spend at least one day a year where we celebrate and really focus on lifting up the experiences, accomplishments and contributions that women have made to make the world a better place,” Johnson said.

DePerry said being a woman and a leader is a big part of her identity.

“Being a strong leader is important, but being able to be a strong female leader is what I am most proud of,” DePerry said. “Simply because I know that historically women were not allowed or ‘fit’ to be leaders.”

McKenzie said she would define a Titan LeadHER as a person who identifies as a woman and is passionate about leadership and inspiring those around her.

“They are also actively involved on campus and constantly seeking ways to add to the campus community,” McKenzie said.

Johnson said she thinks in every accomplishment, invention and success, you can find the women who contributed.

“HERstory Month is to uncover that history that is so often hidden,” Johnson said. “So really working to find ways to uplift those voices and dust off that history.”

DePerry said that being a leader is a great responsibility, and they have to be willing to work day in and day out if they want to see change.

“To my future leaders, just know you are capable of doing anything if you put your heart into it,” DePerry said. “If someone is interested in being a leader, I think the first thing that needs to be done is to get involved in something you are passionate about.