Panelists talk female leadership in light of women’s history month

Alice Starr, wife of President Ken Starr and president of Starr Strategies, a public relations and marketing firm that caters to nonprofit organizations, speaks to a group of collegiate women at the Women's Leadership Panel in the Collins' lobby Tuesday.

Four of “Baylor’s Finest” women discussed feminism and the workplace at the Women’s Leadership Panel at 7 p.m. Tuesday night in the Collins Residential Hall lounge. Panel members included Tommye Lou Davis, Alice Starr, Jennifer Carron and Emily Sandvall.

Jacksonville junior Maddy Stotlemyer and organizer of the event, introduced the collection of women as “Baylor’s Finest.” The qualifications listed about each of the guests were clearly defined during the extended question session.

Jennifer Carron, assistant vice president of undergraduate enrollment and mother of four young children, touched on her experience as a woman and mother in a field that requires multitasking and respect from others.

Baylor First Lady Alice Starr, current member of an array of committees and boards and wife of President and Chancellor Ken Starr, has recently focused on special needs among college age students and funding for nursing students. She spoke on her role as a wife and supporter for Starr, while still remaining active in the community and in the lives of her children.

“I now have my PHT Degree, Putting Husband Through,” Starr said. “[When we moved] I knew I needed to get a job. Don’t think that someone is going to hire you by sending an email with your resume. You have got to go in and do it in person.

Tommye Lou Davis, vice president for constituent engagement, has been a part of the Baylor community since her time as a student. In her years of teaching and growing as a leader, Davis highlighted the difference between gender and competence, as well as the generational shifts she has worked through.

“There have been many times when I look around and think, ‘I’m the only woman at this table,’ and then I just thank God that he gave me my brothers to teach me at an early age that gender doesn’t matter. It’s all about competence and just working to be really good at whatever it is that God calls you to do,” David said.

Emily Sandvall, associate director of undergraduate programs, works closely with females in the engineering program and residents of Teal Residential Hall. Also a mother of young children, Sandvall discussed the rapid changes she went through in her life, and the challenges of being a young woman in higher positions.

A small gathering of students was present at the event. Those who listened offered up questions of their own, including Silver Creek, Ga. sophomore Sydney Robinson.

“I skipped my Econ Test Review tonight just to stay here, that’s how much I like it,” Robinson said. “I’ve been learning a lot about my role as a female leader as a head CL, and almost kind of battling the male dominance. So that’s something that they really poured into me and really impacted me.”