UWF hosts Florida Office of Women in Higher Education Third Annual Conference
Nearly 100 women in various higher education roles throughout Florida attended the third annual conference of the Florida Office of Women in Higher Education (FLOWHE) at the University of West Florida (UWF) Conference Center on Friday, Oct. 8. FLOWHE is the state division of the Office of Women in Higher Education (OWHE) of the American Council on Education (ACE).
ACE is a major coordinating organization representing all U.S. higher education institutions providing leadership on key higher education initiatives and influencing public policy.
“This conference is confirmation that there are a number of outstanding women doing outstanding work in the field of higher education, from both a leadership standpoint and a scholarly research standpoint,” said Angela McCorvey, associate vice president for diversity and international education and programs at UWF. “This conference brings together a diverse group of talented women on whom you could call for advice, as well as mentorship.”
McCorvey serves as the Northwest Florida Regional Chairwoman for FLOWHE and co-chair of the Conference Planning Committee. This was the first year UWF hosted this statewide conference. The event emphasizes opportunities in leadership for women in higher education and provides personal and professional development from a variety of speakers.
As the first person of color to serve as a recruiter for Florida State University, McCorvey believes she had an amazing opportunity. Now, she is enthusiastic about the new generation of women coming along who will not have to struggle against limitations due to gender or race.
“For women and persons of color, the sky really is the limit,” McCorvey said.
FLOWHE serves to identify potential female leaders and connect them through educational and networking events, such as the annual conference, as well as support their professional development, according to FLOWHE State Chair Beatriz G. Robinson, FLOWHE state chairwoman and vice president of planning & enrollment at St. Thomas University in Miami.
“As recently as 10 years ago, there were no female presidents at state institutions in Florida,” McCorvey said. “Now, three of the 11 state institution presidents are women. Institutions today have the ability to see the true leadership qualities in a person, and an individual can achieve leadership roles regardless of gender or race.”
Looking forward, Robinson said FLOWHE will look to strengthen the regional chair positions through the addition of regional activities.
“We’ll begin planning luncheons with speakers to encourage more continuous networking and professional support throughout the year, in addition to the annual conference,” Robinson said. “I’d also like to get more students involved. We’ll look to students to attend our annual conferences in the future to present scholarly research related to women and higher education.”
For more information about FLOWHE, visit stu.edu/FloridaOfficeofWomeninHigherEducation/tabid/1254/Default.aspx.
By Kelly Russ, University Communications