SMU Women's Group

It is truly an honor to be part of the SMU Community.  Each of us play a critical role in shaping the University and providing the best to our students.  The more we develop as individuals, the more we learn and grow, the more we have to offer.  The SMU Women's group was formed in 2018 in an effort to nurture relationships across campus, provide opportunities for personal and career development, and ultimately positively impact the entire SMU community.

I truly believe that leadership is not a title, it is a behavior.  Each of us can lead from wherever we are in the organization.  Although we can certainly influence those in our immediate circle, there is a transformative power when we join others.  Those relationships can be a powerful force in challenging the status quo and bringing about change.   A cornerstone of the SMU Women's group is the Women in Leadership series.  Every other month, one of our SMU female leaders present, in a large group setting, lessons they learned along the way.  The wisdom they impart during these presentations can apply to everyone-- even if you do not desire to be in a formal leadership role. 

The smaller discussion groups focus on various topics such as mentoring, self- care, presentation skills, personal development and work life balance.These sessions offer an informal opportunity to connect, ask questions, and learn from each other.

During the first year, we had the honor of hearing from Associate Vice President, Julie Wiksten; Vice President, Chris Regis; Dean Stephanie Knight; Associate Provost, Patty Alvey; Associate Provost, Sheri Kunovich; and Associate Provost, Larenda Meilke. Breakout session topics included Mentoring and Sponsorship, Managing staff, and Work Life Balance.

The events for academic year 2019-2020 are posted at

  • September: Dr. Marci Armstrong- Director of Brierley Institute for Customer Engagement
  • October: Karen Drennan - Associate Dean for Communications and Strategic Initiatives (Building your brand)
  • November: Dr. Evelyn Ashley - Associate Dean of Students
  • December: "How Women Rise" presentation and book discussion
  • January: Lisa Tran - Managing Director, Corporate Engagement and Strategic Partnerships (Cox) (Self-Care)
  • February: Holly Jeffcoat  - Dean of SMU Libraries
  • March: Patty Alvey - Associate Provost for Institutional Planning and Effectiveness (Presentation skills workshop)
  • April: Dr. Dayna Ocherwitz - Assistant Provost for General Education (date pending)
  • May: Jennifer Ebinger - Director of the Office of Engaged Learning (date pending)

The group is open to all female SMU Faculty and Staff.  The meetings are scheduled monthly between September and May. To join the listserv and receive updates and meeting minutes, email

Regardless of your role at SMU, this group welcomes you to connect and grow with other women in our campus community.  I hope to see you at our next event!

Rachel Mulry