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The Women's Advancement Initiative Showcases Student/Faculty Projects and Guest Speaker


Posted 04/16/2018
Category: Accolades
Dr. Yingcui Li

Dr. Yingcui Li

Left to right: Dr. Yingcui Li, Amy Barzach, Kate Stoddard, Pat McKinley, President Gregory Woodward

Left to right: Dr. Yingcui Li, Amy Barzach, Kate Stoddard, Pat McKinley, President Gregory Woodward

"It was a true pleasure to be a part of this symposium. What a fantastic group of future leaders who have such energy and presence." - Andrea Nierenberg

"It was a true pleasure to be a part of this symposium. What a fantastic group of future leaders who have such energy and presence." - Andrea Nierenberg

The Women’s Advancement Initiative Showcases Student/Faculty Projects and Guest Speaker

The Women’s Advancement Initiative held its Annual Symposium and Reception at the Gray Conference Center on April 5, 2018. The event featured innovative student and faculty research projects from its Dorothy Goodwin Scholars and Faculty Fellows, interactive leadership lessons from students in its LEAD program, and a dynamic presentation on “Non-Stop Networking” from internationally-renowned business speaker, Andrea Nierenberg.

The Dorothy Goodwin Scholars’ projects included a robotic snow plow; new insights in Alzheimer's disease, Cerebral Palsy, and childhood asthma; designing prosthetic dolls to celebrate children with disabilities and support their abilities; a device to provide a personalized voice (rather than mechanical) to hearing and voice-impaired individuals; and a multi-media documentary on Miriam Butterworth, former president of Hartford College for Women, among other projects. Each year, thanks to a generous bequest from Dorothy Goodwin, these scholars work in partnership with faculty mentors on innovative research and creative projects.

This year’s Faculty Fellow research project was presented by assistant professor of Biology Dr. Yingcui Li, who teaches in the College of Arts and Sciences. Dr. Li’s project highlighted genetic analysis and genomic treatment/gene therapy for disorders and diseases, particularly those related to cartilage cells and osteoarthritis. Dr. Li's research has been supported by the Arthritis National Research Foundation (ANRF), an organization which has recognized her as an ANRF scholar. She is also this year’s recipient of the prestigious Belle K. Ribicoff Junior Faculty Prize, which recognizes excellence in teaching, scholarly activity, and service. 

First-year, sophomore, junior and senior students in The Women’s Advancement Initiative’s LEAD program provided interactive leadership lessons about resume building, job interview and shadowing skills, salary negotiation, conflict mediation, Imposter Syndrome, public speaking, and personal learning styles.

A highlight of the evening was a special presentation by the “Queen of Networking,” Andrea Nierenberg, Principal of The Nierenberg Consulting Group and internationally-known business development authority, author, and speaker.  The Wall Street Journal called Andrea, “a networking success story.”  The audience learned about, “Non-Stop Networking: The Top 10 Tips, Tactics, and Tools You Can Use.” Andrea’s presentation focused on how to FIND the people who will help you achieve your goals. GROW your network by building on skills you already have. KEEP your network vibrant for a lifetime.  

Amy Jaffe Barzach, Executive Director of The Women’s Advancement Initiative, described the event as “inspiring.” Barzach said, “Each year, I am amazed to see the research and creative projects being done by our Dorothy Goodwin Scholars with their mentors. Their innovative ideas and hard work embodies what The Women’s Advancement Initiative is all about – opening minds and doors to position women for success.”

More than 125 people attended this year’s event, including University President Gregory Woodward, Lucille Nickerson, Chair of the University’s Board of Regents, and Kate Stoddard, Hartford College for Women ’72, and Chair of The Women’s Advancement Initiative Board of Directors, as well as students, community leaders, faculty and staff, mentors, Faculty Fellows, Laura Johnson Leaders, and friends.  The event also provided a platform to celebrate the rich heritage and legacy of Hartford College for Women.

Click here for additional event photos https://www.flickr.com/photos/140251477@N08/

About The Women’s Advancement Initiative:

The Women’s Advancement Initiative, (formerly WELFund), is a distinctive program at the University of Hartford that uniquely positions women for success through education and leadership programs, research and scholarship opportunities, and career connections and experiences, which open minds and open doors. Built on the rich heritage of Hartford College for Women (HCW), Women’s Advancement challenges, encourages, and empowers students, faculty, staff, and alumnae.  Women’s Advancement is supported and is sustained by a community of women and men who believe that advancing the potential of women is a personal and a collective priority.

Dr. Yingcui Li

Dr. Yingcui Li

Left to right: Dr. Yingcui Li, Amy Barzach, Kate Stoddard, Pat McKinley, President Gregory Woodward

Left to right: Dr. Yingcui Li, Amy Barzach, Kate Stoddard, Pat McKinley, President Gregory Woodward

"It was a true pleasure to be a part of this symposium. What a fantastic group of future leaders who have such energy and presence." - Andrea Nierenberg

"It was a true pleasure to be a part of this symposium. What a fantastic group of future leaders who have such energy and presence." - Andrea Nierenberg