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Women of ND’ week promotes awareness

Katie Laird | Thursday, April 1, 2004

Notre Dame will host a “Women of Notre Dame” series this week as an effort to promote greater awareness of the future careers and opportunities that exist for women.

“Our students, male and female, need strong female role models to help them achieve their potential,” said Julia Douthwaite, assistant provost of Campus International Development and a professor in the department of Romance Languages and Literatures.

The network of professional women was co-founded in March of 2000 by Douthwaite and Lee Svete, Director of the Career Center, as a means to celebrate co-education at Notre Dame. Funded by the dean of Arts and Letters, Mark Roach, and aided with mailing and listings by Chuck Lennon, president of the Alumni Association, the program hopes to help women who struggle with their careers and family life. It is sponsored by the College of Arts and Letters, the Career Center and the Alumni Association.

The series opens with a “Brown Bag Lunch Discussion,” which will take place today from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. in 131 Decio Hall. This invitation-only event will focus on undergraduate women involved in political science or who have a strong interest in public service or public policies.

Later in the afternoon, there were will be a panel discussion titled “Women in the Workplace: On and Off the Career Track.” Viva Bartkus, assistant professor of marketing and a former member of corporate America, will discuss her personal experiences of being in the work place. Patricia Bellia, an associate professor at Notre Dame Law School, used to be an attorney but later entered academia. Bellia will discuss the tensions and problems that women face. The discussion will take place from 4:30 to 6 p.m. in the Coleman Morse lounge.

On Friday at 2 p.m. Walsh Hall’s south lounge will host a gathering discussing the real life experiences of Colleen Meiman of “The West Wing.” Meiman is an alumna who was a White House staffer and worked on Capitol Hill. She will compare the reality of a career in Washington with that on television.

“We hope this will be of great relevance to the student population, and that they will think carefully of strategies they want to pursue,” Douthwaite said.