Three ESU Students Attend Women’s Leadership Conference

Posted by: admin on June 18, 2013, No Comments

Three East Stroudsburg University of Pennsylvania (ESU) students were selected to attend a program which seeks to help prepare and empower young women to be future leaders in the political process. The students attended the National Education for Women’s (NEW) Leadership Pennsylvania™ institute at the PennsylvaniaCenter for Women and Politics at Chatham University. The NEW program is a six-day concentrated curriculum for female students attending colleges and universities throughout Pennsylvania. Participants learned about networking and the need for women’s leadership in the political process.

The three students are Myia Woodson, a senior from East Stroudsburg, Pa., who will graduate this fall and is majoring in political science with a concentration on pre-law; Amy Okale Majani, a senior from East Stroudsburg, Pa., who is majoring in political science with a concentration on politics and government; and Jacqueline Prestoy, a junior from Quakertown, Pa., who is majoring in communication studies with a minor in political science. Each year approximately 35 students are selected to attend. Kimberly S. Adams, Ph.D., an ESU associate professor of political science, recruited the students and served as a faculty liaison between ESU and the NEW Leadership Institute.        

Participants toured the Capitol in Harrisburg, and heard from successful women leaders about politics and public policy. Sessions included a presentation titled, “Why YOU Should Consider Running for Office,” with panelists Heather Heidelbaugh, Allegheny County Council; Former Congresswoman Melissa Hart; Valerie McDonald Roberts, Allegheny County Real Estate Department and Chelsa Wagner, Allegheny County Controller. Pa. Representative Dan Frankel (D-23rd Dist.), and Pa. Senator Jay Costa (D-43rd Dist.) also provided a question and answer session.

“NEW Leadership provided a new perspective on the role of women in leadership – especially political leadership – as we heard from women who held these positions and those who worked behind these women,” said Majani.

“I thought the NEW Leadership conference would be important to attend, especially because soon I will be entering into the work force,” said Woodson. “I am thankful for the support of my parents, friends, Dr. Adams and the Political Science Department, who afforded me the opportunity to attend. I have learned so much about leadership and I have definitely come back as a new leader. I really enjoyed the advocacy and diversity training that we received. It was intensive, but well worth it.”

Majani, Woodson and Prestoy said a saying offered at the conference was noteworthy – if you are not at the table, you are on the menu. “I think we heard this quote the most,” said Woodson. “It shows how underrepresented women are in politics and how we have to make an effort to change that.”

”I wanted to attend this conference to further my knowledge of politics, leadership, and women in power,” said Prestoy. “I learned many different things, like how women differ from men with regard to political leadership and how to successfully advocate and lobby. This was a very informative and important experience. This conference really enlightened me as to just how underrepresented women are in politics.”

The students will serve as guest panelists to discuss their experiences at the NEW program in Dr. Adams’ Women and Politics class in the fall.

The ESU Department of Political Science, the ESU vice president for student affairs, and the dean of ESU College of Arts and Sciences helped fund the students’ participation. This year, all three applications to the program were accepted. In the previous two years two ESU students were accepted.

For more information about the women’s leadership conference or the political science degree programs at East Stroudsburg University contact Dr. Adams at 570-422-3924 or by email at or visit