For the Jan and John Cauffman fellowship I received this spring semester at Whittier College I decided to implement a new component to the Women in Leadership course, taught by my WSP advisor Professor Angevine, that had not been done before. What my goal is for this addition to the course is to have a project that runs for the second half of the semester that requires the students in the class to reach out into their communities and find a woman leader that inspires them and interview them. This interview must be conducted in some media form whether that be over podcast, video, slideshow etc. so we as the viewers can get the most genuine understanding of the interviewees feelings and opinions. There are so many women leaders out there and each of them have their own stories to tell that will differ from anyone else's. The idea behind this assignment that I’ve created for the course is to shine a light on these amazing women’s stories to inspire and educate those on these women that are doing so much hard work for our community that may or may not otherwise go unnoticed.
Media and Politics are almost synonymous these days which is why I felt it was vital that a media component be added to a course of this nature, especially considering the extremely modern topics this class will cover. Women in Leadership is such a modern topic of discussion, and so much of that can be tied into the media and how these digital platforms have both helped and harmed these women along the way. With things like the #metoo movement, The Slut Walk, and other modern (third-wave) feminist movements media is what makes these movements known and able to occur and they wouldn’t exist without the media. The media has absolutely done harm to women as well and I don’t want to discredit that, but I think it is a valuable resource that has opened up a new world for women that allows their voices to be heard like never before.
For this fellowship, I intend on using my findings/ final projects toward my senior project which deals heavily with the combination of women in leadership and the media. My major is called “Gender in Media” and for my final project I am creating a website that can be a resource for women on campus including events, clubs and articles that may help anyone on campus. I would like to end up using some of the interviews from this project to put up on the website to give these women leaders a spotlight on what they do and the impact it has on others. As times are changing and we are beginning to see more women in power positions, it is important that we hear their stories, and learn from the adversities they faced and overcame purely based on their gender.