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Maryland’s female leaders to gather on campus for USM Women’s Forum

In an event that will feature a veritable “who’s who” of high-powered Maryland women, Towson University will host the 2013 University System of Maryland’s Women’s Forum on Friday, Nov. 15, 8:30 a.m. – 4 p.m. in the West Village Commons.

For a quarter century, the annual Women’s Forum has helped women who work at all levels of higher education to have a system-wide impact on women-related workplace issues. As part of its influence, the Forum includes a working committee that reports to the Chancellor’s Office and has been instrumental in enhancing the status of women, fostering networking among women and encouraging the participation of women in all facets of the System.

Mary Ellen Barbera

Special guest Mary Ellen Barbera ’75

“The conference theme, ‘Redefining Having it All,’ focuses on women in the workforce, particularly in higher education, and the importance of evaluating how well our institutions support the intersection of personal and professional reality,” said Mary Fortier, annual conference chair.

“More importantly, the theme challenges the concept of ‘having it all’ as it relates to the role of women in today’s economy by contributing to the national discourse on this pertinent topic.”

Featured speakers include Towson alumnae Mary Ellen Barbera ’75, Maryland’s first female chief judge of the Court of Appeals, and Catherine Curran O’Malley ’85, associate judge of the District Court of Maryland.

Catherine Curran O'Malley

Speaker Catherine Curran O’Malley ’85

Congresswoman Donna Edwards, a sponsor of the new congressional agenda, “When Women Succeed, America Succeeds,” will provide opening remarks. Others to speak include Delegate Susan Aumann, State Sen. Delores Kelley, State Sen. Kathy Klausmeier and Maryland Speaker Pro Tem Adrienne Jones.

A panel discussion entitled “The Changing Role of Women in the American Economy” will feature Cecilia Rio, associate professor of women’s and gender studies at Towson; Deborah Owens, wealth coach and author of A Purse of Your Own; Anne Hedgepeth of the American Association of University Women; and TU alumna Tonya Toler, founder and president of Freedom Financial Consulting.

Towson University students, faculty and staff are encouraged to attend the Women’s Forum, where participants will have a voice through facilitated roundtable discussions and feedback forums. Visit the USM Women’s Forum Conference for more information, and to register.