Event Preview: Gustavus Women in Leadership's 7th Annual Conference

For the past seven years, Gustavus Women in Leadership has hosted their annual GWIL Conference. This year the conference is titled, “Navigating Conflict in an Ever-Changing World”. The conference was previously held at the college, but now takes places at the American Swedish Institute in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

This year, the conference sold out with 225 Gustavus women and men attending the six-hour long event which will include keynote speakers, breakout sessions, breakout panels, and networking opportunities.

The theme of the conference this year is very unique as it allows successful female leaders to share their stories of navigating conflicts and changes throughout their lives and professional careers. Knowing that college women face conflicts every single day, whether it be in academics, relationships, or work, the goal of the conference is to help young college students gain knowledge to help guide themselves through tough times with resiliency and positivity.

Multiple leaders from healthcare, nonprofit, business, government, and education backgrounds will be sharing messages with Gustavus students on how to manage discord within our communities, personal lives, and across the globe, as well as how we as humans deal with controversy on an emotion and social level.

Highlights of the conference include keynote speaker, Kyle Gibson, Founding Executive Producer and Managing Editor of Women in the World, ABC News Producer, with her message titled "The Gut Factor", and "From Perfection to Vulnerability: Overcoming Conflict Through Resiliency", from Jennifer Myster 'P17, President of Allina Health Buffalo Hospital.

There will also be breakout sessions with speakers who work at Gustavus or are Gustavus alumni, including: Allie Vogt Newman ‘96, Human Resources Director, General Mills Convenience & Foodservice, Debbie McGarity ‘91, Lead, Civic Action Messaging & Multilateral Health Initiatives, Sanofi, and Kathy Lund Dean, Board of Trustees Distinguished Professor of Leadership & Ethics, Gustavus Adolphus College.

These women all have valuable wisdom on how to best withstand situations of conflict with firmness, patience, and sensitivity, that they will share with the students who attend the conference.

Seniors Lydia Kennedy, Katey Nelson, and Tessa Semerad have worked hard to plan this year’s conference. The main goal for the event is to allow women from all stages of adult life to engage in meaningful discussion on daily conflicts in our world, and how to manage them through leadership, dialogue, and action.

For all who attend, the conference is an exciting opportunity to learn how other women have made it in the real world as leaders in their own way. Many of the skills that the speakers have acquired from their leadership positions, are ones that students can take away and apply to their own lives.

GWIL is such a unique organization, that offers incredible opportunities and experiences for students at Gustavus Adolphus College. Not only are Gustavus students involved in Gustavus Women in Leadership and the GWIL Conference learning about how professionals have applied their leadership skills to get where they are today, but students are gaining these same exact skills that will benefit them for the rest of their lives.