California State University, Long Beach
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11th Annual Women and Careers Conference Set for March 13

Published: March 2, 2009

CSULB will host its 11th annual Women and Careers Conference on Friday, March 13, from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in the University Student Union (USU) Ballrooms. The conference answers – and sometimes poses – questions for college students planning to use their education as a springboard to their future professional lives. Admission is free and the event is open to the general public.

The conference offers attendees the opportunity to hear and interact with, a panel of successful women from various career fields discussing their experiences and the factors that contributed to their success. They will talk about such issues as their personal decision-making processes, their challenges and goals, who made a difference in their lives and why, their mentoring experiences, the balance they strike between their personal and professional lives and the “glass ceiling”.

“The core of the program is for students to hear successful women talk about the various factors involved in the decisions they have made about their careers,” said Lynne Coenen, director of the Women’s Resource Center. “It tends to bring in issues like networking and when students see this it gives them another way of looking at things. It helps them to see that once they graduate, what they think they are going to do with their lives may not be that. There may be many different roles they will have.”

“Life experiences and cultural backgrounds are important considerations on the panel, in addition to ethnicity and abilities,” said Judi Walker, Educational Career Services Director and event partner, “because we want as broad a representation as possible for student interaction, and we want to be reflective of our student population.”

Members of the panel include engineer Rhonda Hayes, support manager, IT Division, Raytheon Space and Airborne Systems; Elizabeth Novack, assistant superintendent, Newport-Mesa Unified School District; Elana Quinones, administrator, Forensic Science Services (crime lab) of the Long Beach Police Department; Andrea Galvin, historical preservationist, founder and CEO of Galvin Preservation Associates, Inc.; Tuonisia Turner-Lewis, head women’s basketball coach, California State University, Los Angeles; Melissa Pitts-Cutler, California parole agent and author of popular children’s books; and Jane Benson, manufacturing/distribution market manager, Moss Adams, L.L.P; and Candice Chick Shirey, CHAMPS Life/Skills coordinator, CSULB athletics. The panel moderator will be CSULB alumna Eliana Reece, former panelist and independent senior sales director, Mary Kay Cosmetics.

“Surveys and statistics indicate that on average, people make significant career changes approximately every five years, and often those changes will be something seemingly unrelated to students’ majors,” said Barbara Sinclair, Women’s Resource Center assistant director. “However, we also know that developing strategies for addressing decision-making moments increases student’s options when opportunities arise for making changes. This is perhaps one of the most important aspects of the conference – providing opportunities for students to hear that information from women who have used it.”

The conference schedule is 8:30 a.m., registration, networking and refreshments; 9 a.m., welcome and introduction to program; 9:20 a.m., professional women’s panel, with a make-a-friend break mid-morning; and a connection network, door prize drawing, and closing at noon.

The conference is organized by the Women’s Resource Center, the Career Development Center and Educational Career Services in The College of Education with support from the President’s Commission on the Status of Women, USU Program Council, and Associated Students of CSULB.

Pre-registration is recommended to assure conference materials for everyone, and registration can be done online at
For more information about the conference, call the Women’s Resource Center at 562/985-8576 or the Career Development Center at 562/985-4151.