Four years ago Seattle University had the welcome opportunity to become the new home institution of the National Association for Women in Catholic Higher Education, and when I took the helm as Executive Director, I did so with humble and deep admiration for NAWCHE’s founder, Sharlene Hesse-Biber, who birthed this organization into being in 1992 and spearheaded its growth and development at Boston College up until its transition to Seattle University in spring 2009.
Now that NAWCHE has been launched here at SU we find that there is a pervasive busyness as we prepare to host the 2014 Making Connections XI: The Welcome Table - Interfaith Women in Dialogue in Catholic Higher Education on our campus in June.
Our theme for the conference resounds with timely significance and, in addition to our three Seattle University keynote speakers, Connie R. Kanter, M.B.A., Chief Financial Officer, Vice President of Finance and Business Affairs; Sonora Jha, Ph.D., novelist and an Associate Professor of Journalism; and Jodi O’Brien, Ph.D., Patricia Wismer Professor for Gender and Diversity Studies and in the Sociology department, we look forward to having an excellent roster of scheduled presenters from institutions across the country, such as Fordham University, Santa Clara University, Loyola Marymount University, University of Dayton, Gonzaga University , Loyola University Maryland, Siena College, St. John’s University, University of Detroit Mercy, Our Lady of the Lake University, Neumann University, and more, in addition to Seattle University faculty, staff, and student presenters, and presenters from several local Seattle area organizations.
We look forward to hosting those of you who will be joining us as panelists, workshop facilitators, and conference attendees, and we have high hopes that Making Connections XI will signify the beginning of Seattle University establishing a long-lasting parallel tradition of loyal institutional supporters here on the West Coast that serves as a complement to NAWCHE’s long term East Coast supporters. And, of course, this aim embraces and is inclusive of the many Catholic colleges and universities in between both coasts, to whom we extend an open and welcoming invitation to become NAWCHE institutional members.
Best wishes to all until we meet in person in June.
Mary-Antoinette Smith, PhD
Associate Professor, English
Director, Women and Gender Studies
Executive Director, NAWCHE