Women's leadership conference to host former Alabama gymnastics coach

The XXXI is hosting a conference entitled, “She Leads: Collegiate Women’s Leadership and Lifestyle Conference” on Jan. 31. 

The keynote speaker at the conference will be Sarah Patterson, the former head coach of the University of Alabama’s women’s gymnastics team. Patterson coached the team from 1979 to 2014, winning six national championships and eight SEC titles. Patterson also holds the record for the second most coaching wins in the sport’s history. 

After the keynote speaker, attendees will then split into six break-out groups, where different speakers will lead discussions on various topics. The topics will range from salary negotiations, professionalism, diversity of thought and more. The break-out speakers will include these members of the University of Alabama faculty:

-Mary Loyd Lowrey, Director of Career Education and Development  

-Rachael Smallwood, professor in the Culverhouse College of Commerce

-Linda Bonnin, Vice President of Strategic Communications

-Bryan Fair, professor in the School of Law

-Jacqueline Morgan, Associate Dean of the Honors College

-Meredith Cummings, professor in the College of Communication and Information Science

Who: The XXXI and partnering organizations: American Association of University, Women in Technology, Society of Women in Medicine, Society of Women Engineers, Young Women for America and Women of Excellence to host conference for students

What: She Leads: Collegiate Women’s Leadership and Lifestyle Conference

When: Jan. 31, 6-8:30 p.m. Check-in begins at 5:31 p.m. and closes at 6 p.m.

Where: North Lawn Hall

Why: “A women’s conference brings such an important chance for college aged women to support other women,” said Maggie Holmes, vice president of XXXI.  

Holmes said it is a good opportunity for younger women to get life advice from older women on how to navigate through life the many roadblocks they will face in their career and life.

She said Patterson fought through the obstacles of the male dominated field of athletics. Patterson brought women’s gymnastics to the forefront of the conversation at the University of Alabama, making Alabama known for more than just football.

“The XXXI this year really wanted to have a collaborative effort with a lot of women organizations on campus, so we can have a lot of University women in attendance because women’s conferences are so important,” Holmes said. “It is the first time for a lot of women to be in a mass audience with people who support them and have shared experiences and get advice.”

The event is free, but seats must be reserved online to ensure acceptance into the event. Seats are going fast, and once all reservation slots are filled, more will not be available. To reserve your seat at the conference, visit them at their website: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/she-leads-collegiate-womens-leadership-and-lifestyle-conference-tickets-39820381834 

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