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University of Iowa News Release


May 24, 2010

Barceló to deliver keynote address at UI institute for women leaders June 8

mascherNewly elected Costa Rican President Laura Chinchilla, Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor and Iowa Rep. Mary Mascher (left) are three examples of women who are making significant contributions to public leadership.

But a handful of female leaders doesn’t equal parity, and women are still underrepresented in everything from school boards to federal offices, according to Kelly Thornburg, who directs the Iowa National Education for Women’s Leadership (N.E.W) Institute.

To address this gap, the University of Iowa Women's Resource and Action Center will host the third annual Iowa National Education for Women's (N.E.W.) Leadership Institute Friday, June 4 through Wednesday, June 9 on the UI campus in Iowa City.

Thirty-four female students from the UI and 14 other institutions across the state will participate in the intensive, six-day, residential institute, which is designed to develop women’s leadership skills, support their engagement in civic life and create opportunities for them to build relationships with leaders on the local, state and national level.

barceloNancy “Rusty” Barceló will be the keynote speaker and will discuss the necessity of multicultural competence in 21st century leadership. The keynote address and reception will be Tuesday, June 8, at the UI’s Old Capitol Museum. The reception is free and open to the public and will begin at 5:30 p.m. with Barceló's remarks beginning at 6:30 p.m.

Barceló serves as vice president and vice provost for equity and diversity at the University of Minnesota and will begin a new job as president at Northern New Mexico College this summer.

Barceló spent more than 20 years at the UI, where she served as assistant dean and provost for academic affairs and received the Distinguished Educator in Diversity Award. For more information, visit

The address will be American Sign Language-interpreted. For more information or special accommodations to attend, visit or contact Thornburg at 319-335-1488 or

Thornburg said the institute works to “identify and empower women advocates with the goal of increasing the participation of underrepresented groups in all sectors of public leadership.”

To achieve this, the institute experience is built around a challenging curriculum, which includes strategic communication exercises, effective fundraising training, formal and informal policy analysis, in-depth examination of conflict and collaboration, and a hands-on advocacy simulation.

During the week, the participants will get to know elected officials, community activists and policy advocates who offer their skills and stories to strengthen the program's content. Each year, three established community leaders or faculty-in-residence also work with the participants.

bystrompeguesThis year's faculty-in-residence are Hazel Pegues (right), executive director of Diversity Focus; Dianne Bystrom (left), director of the Carrie Chapman Catt Center for Women and Politics at Iowa State University; and Mascher, who is serving her seventh term in the Iowa General Assembly, is chair of the State Government Committee and is a member of the Education, Human Resources and Veterans Affairs Committees.

The participants -- all female undergraduate and graduate students chosen by a panel of university and community leaders -- are engaged in a broad range of disciplines, including nursing, anthropology, finance, social work, engineering and information management.

Participants were selected based on their leadership, intellect, maturity, ability to confront adversity, capacity to observe and reflect on their own strengths and challenges; the diversity and depth of their personal, academic, and work experiences; and an articulated commitment to political engagement, community advocacy or public policy.

Iowa N.E.W. Leadership takes place annually in the early summer and is open to female students attending any post-secondary institution in Iowa as well as to Iowa residents who attend a college or university outside the state.

“We are dedicated to maintaining non-partisan integrity, a commitment to diversity and financial accessibility for all of our participants and so we offer the program at no cost to them,” Thornburg said. “That means we rely on other sources of funding to make this experience possible.”

The program receives support from the following: UI’s Vice President for Student Service, UI departments and colleges; external institutions whose students are selected for the program; and individuals through tax-deductible contributions to WRAC.

For a complete list of the 2010 Iowa N.E.W. Leadership participants, visit

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Services, 300 Plaza Centre One, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500

MEDIA CONTACTS: Lois J. Gray, 319-384-0077,; Kelly Dauplaise Thornburg, Iowa N.E.W. Leadership, 319-335-1488,