University women leaders host iLED Talk

Jessica Van Ranken, student body president and senior in political science, addresses women of K-State at an iLED lecture about loving yourself on Feb. 7, 2017. (Nick Horvath | The Collegian)

Female leaders of Kansas State hosted an iLED talk, modeled after the popular TED Talks, to discuss the roles of women as leaders in front of an all-female audience Tuesday morning.

“We wanted to see (female) leadership across the institution but within different roles and categories,” said Jordan Kocher, assistant director of greek affairs.

The event, held in the K-State Student Union, drew a crowd of about 20 women. The attendees consisted of professional women from across campus who took their lunch break as an opportunity to meet with other female leaders on campus.

Three women were invited to present their impressions of women in leadership positions. Each woman has a different leadership role on campus.

“I really love that Women of K-State brings together a lot of really wonderful women to talk about how we can exercise female leadership better at K-State,” Jessica Van Ranken, senior in political science and student body president, said.

Van Ranken spoke about the difference in leadership styles she has experienced in the Student Governing Association between men and women.

“It’s okay that we have those different styles,” Van Ranken said. “It’s the merging of those different leadership styles and figuring out how to kind of come to an agreement and work together as men and as women, as a lot of different diversities that spread beyond that, coming together and figuring out how we can merge those (leadership) styles to make a really great product.”

Be Stoney, associate professor in the College of Education, spoke about what she has learned through her leadership experience, which includes mentoring 450 student athletes, and how women can advance in their professional and academic careers at K-State. After finishing her presentation, Stoney answered questions about working in a male-dominated industry and said that women “have to own the room” in order to stand out among their peers.

Zelia Wiley, interim associate provost of the Office of Diversity, spoke about the challenges of leading as a woman. Wiley shared quotes from men and women who have inspired her, including Robin S. Sharma, Sheryl Sandberg and Theodore Roosevelt.

“It’s important that women feel empowered to pursue these leadership roles,” said Emeryld Wills, coordinator for education and personal development at the Polytechnic campus in Salina.

“Check out Women of K-State’s website,” Kocher said. “These events are for students, faculty and staff, and they’re not just for women. These events should reach the entire K-State population.”