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Women Leading the Way

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

By Eric Guzman '12

Siena College recently launched the St. Clare Leadership Series. It provides women with the resources they need to develop skills and improve their communities. The series started this semester with the inaugural “Ours To Do: Women Leading the Way” Lecture delivered by St. Bonaventure University President Sr. Margaret Carney, O.S.F., S.T.D. Carney's address discussed the role of Franciscan women during the 13th century and how their contributions have inspired modern day leaders. She explained that unlike any other religious groups, the Franciscans called for a community where men and women shared a common quest for equality.

“We who are inheritors of the Franciscan Project have deep within us, an incredible sister and brother relationship,” said Carney. “Mutuality was a characteristic at the heart of the movement.”

Carney further explained that St. Clare and other women leaders within the Franciscan movement were intrigued by the life and work of St. Francis of Assisi. By breaking traditional roles of wife and mother, St. Clare and her companions joined St. Francis and turned to a life of poverty and established economic independence from family, friends and ecclesiastical authority. With this lifestyle, they served and improved the communities in which they lived.

“Today, the role of Franciscan institutions is to find every opening we can to create these experiences of shared opportunities and shared service,” said Carney. “I congratulate Siena for successfully moving in the direction of the Franciscan mutuality model.”

“We are inspired by the servant leadership style exercised by St. Clare herself,” said Associate Dean of Students, Joy Galarneau, Ph.D.

“Ours To Do” sponsors lectures, leadership workshops and service trip scholarships to Siena's women leaders. Along with listening to Carney's speech, the event honored the Sr. Thea Bowman Center for Women Service Trip Scholarship recipients, Keva Luke ’13 and Kelly Moquin ’13.

Director of the Sr. Thea Bowman Center for Women Shannon O’Neill Ph.D., awarded Luke and Moquin with the scholarships for their outstanding demonstration of leadership. They'll be traveling to the Dominican Republic in March. Once there, Luke and Moquin will work with women who are leading the fight for social justice.

“I’m excited to be a part of this trip,” said Moquin. “St. Clare started such a strong history of women leadership and I’m glad to be a part of that tradition.”

Luke agreed. She said, “It really is an honor to be awarded this scholarship. Women leaders have come such a long way and Siena is taking great steps to inspire women to take that leadership role.”

Both Luke and Moquin are excited to participate in the service trip and have already planned a post-service trip conversation with the Siena community which is scheduled for March 30. The discussion will allow Luke and Moquin to reflect upon their experiences and set goals for future involvement.
 

 

Photo: St. Bonaventure University President Sr. Margaret Carney, O.S.F., S.T.D. delivers speech during 2009 Academic Convocation


Contact: Ken Jubie
Contact E-mail: communications@siena.edu

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