Tech Holds Seventh Annual Women's Leadership Conference

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This Friday and Saturday, November 7 and 8, Georgia Tech will hold the seventh annual Women's Leadership Conference at the Georgia Tech Student Center Ballroom.

Already boasting the highest number of women engineering students in the country, Georgia Tech is trying to boost enrollment of women in other disciplines. The Women's Leadership Conference is designed to both increase awareness of what Tech has to offer women students as well as provide leadership training and support to current students, alumni and faculty. The conference is open to high school students as well as associates from metro-Atlanta universities.

"In our culture, there are still limited places where women can gather to support each other," said Yvette Upton, assistant dean of students and director of Georgia Tech's Women's Resource Center. "We're providing a place for college women across Atlanta to gather and learn about the issues that will face them once they leave college and begin their careers," she said.

On Friday evening, Georgia Tech will hand out the Women of Distinction Awards to outstanding students, faculty, staff and alumnae. Saturday will feature leadership and training workshops on topics such as balancing work and family, managing stress and mapping out a career path.

The keynote address this year will be delivered by retired army Lieutenant Colonel Consuelo Castillo Kickbusch, who was the highest ranking Hispanic woman in the army's combat support field. Kickbusch was born and raised in a barrio in Laredo, Texas. While in high school, a counselor advised Kickbusch that a child from the barrio could never aspire to a college education. Informing her father of this, he gave her then, and what is today, the best advice she has received. He told her to always ask, "Porque No-Why not?" whenever someone tries to deny her opportunities. Following that advice, Kickbusch went on to become the first woman commissioned as a Reserve Officers Training Corps (ROTC) officer in Texas and eventually earned both the Legion of Merit and Army Commendation Medal.

Tech alumna Gena Abraham will deliver Friday evening's address. Abraham is the executive secretary and director of the Construction Division of the Georgia State Financing and Investment Commission (GSFIC). GSFIC is charged with the proper application and execution of bond funds for the state of Georgia and is responsible for a $600 million statewide construction program. Abraham is currently taking a leave of absence from her duties as an assistant professor of civil engineering at Georgia Tech.

Mariette Edwards of Star Maker Enterprises, Inc. will address the Saturday breakfast. Edwards is a business and career coach and publisher of Star Maker News, a monthly on-line newsletter focusing on professional success.

A schedule of the conference is listed below. For a listing of the workshops or more information about the speakers, go to

Friday, November 7, 2003
Student Center Ballroom

5:30 p.m. - 6:30 p.m.

Speaker Gena Abraham
and Women of Distinction Awards
6:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.

Saturday, November 8, 2003
Student Center

8:00 a.m. - 9:00 a.m.

Speaker Mariette Edwards
9:00 a.m. - 9:30 a.m.

Morning Workshops
9:40 a.m. - 11:20 a.m.

Speaker Consuelo Castillo Kickbusch/Lunch
11:30 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.

Afternoon Workshops
1:10 p.m. - 3:30 p.m.



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