Senior Spotlight

Despite an earlier-than-expected end to their time at Virginia Tech, we are so grateful for the positive impact that each of these seniors has had on CWIB and the Virginia Tech community as a whole. This group of ambitious, powerful, talented, and intelligent women has learned and grown so much and we know will find success in whatever life throws at them. We are so excited for these women to take on their next adventure in the fall. I’m very thrilled to showcase some favorite memories and lessons learned during their time in CWIB as well as important pieces of advice that remind us our time here is valuable and we must make the most of it.

erica throwing cap
Erica Sullivan, Co-CEO, Class of 2020

After years of hard work and great networking, these women have left their mark here at CWIB and have found their next big adventure. Erica Sullivan, one of CWIB’s wonderful CEO’s, will be joining the Kayo Conference Series as a Marketing Associate after graduation. Some may remember the CEO, Lindsay Burton, was our February monthly meeting speaker. In the fall Emily Vang, our CFO,  is excited to start work at IBM as a Federal Consultant in their Digital Strategy sector. Additionally, Abby Mercatoris-Morrison, our CMO, plans to intern at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. this upcoming summer. This internship will be in an online format where she “will be creating exciting online content for the Gallery Shops, developing a retail social media strategy, generating email marketing campaigns to drive revenue, and copywriting compelling product descriptions that relate merchandise to the Gallery’s collection and mission.” Then she plans to stay in Blacksburg to finish her last year of graduate school at Virginia Tech in the Material Culture and Public Humanities program. Despite these crazy times, Abby says that “As the world is filled with uncertainty, I can be certain of the hope I have for the future. I’m proud to be a Hokie and proud to call VT my home.”

How we choose to spend our time at Virginia Tech can be impactful. All three women feel that their time in CWIB has influenced their college experience as well as paved a path for their futures. Emily feels that her experience with CWIB has played a huge role in helping her become the person she is today. “When I first came to VT I actually started out as a Communications major and I had no idea what I wanted to do,” Emily says, but CWIB led her to so many wonderful opportunities such as her very first internship in IT. CWIB has also left her feeling empowered and a lot more prepared to take on the real world. “I know I’ve grown a lot because of all that I’ve learned from CWIB both as a member and from serving on leadership this past year,” Emily remarked. Abby also feels that CWIB has opened so many doors for her as well as giving her the incredible opportunity to hone in on her skills as a marketer. “Treks, workshops, and monthly meetings are all so inspiring and I have loved working with my fellow leadership members to propel this organization forward,” Abby says. Similarly, Erica believes her time with CWIB truly has been the highlight of her college years, saying she is “forever grateful for this organization and the amazing women that make it all that it is.”

CWIB’s pillars, empower, prepare, and connect, are the foundation of our organization and foster an atmosphere of professionalism and many lessons learned. Erica says that the most important thing she’s learned from CWIB is that “when women support one another, amazing things happen.”  Emily told the Chronicles that if she had to choose one important skill she’s learned, it would be stepping out of her comfort zone. “At the beginning of college, I was super shy and incredibly unsure of myself. Joining CWIB and pushing myself to meet new people was the first step I took outside my comfort zone. Then I started to apply this mindset to everything else I was doing, whether it was signing up for a case competition or taking on different projects at internships. This allowed me to have confidence in trying new things (even if it was a failure!) and eventually helped me discover what I’m passionate about,” Emily said. Additionally, Abby believes networking has been the most important skill because it was something she was not at all comfortable with coming to college. “I come from a very small town in Northwest Pennsylvania, where everyone knows everyone. I needed to step outside my comfort zone and put myself out there to meet professionals without embarrassing myself. CWIB has given me that and I am so thankful!” said Abby.

Along with learning important skills and lessons for the real world, our seniors have had many defining moments and unforgettable memories along the way. “When I transitioned into the role of CMO and had my first marketing meeting with my team, it validated my efforts in working arduously to get to this point as a leader. I am so fortunate to have had the opportunity to work with a passionate and wonderful group of marketers. The experience of working with them has been rewarding and I have learned lessons along the way that will stay with me as I move forward,” Abby says when recalling her most defining moment in CWIB. Similarly, Erica has had the honor of serving on the CWIB leadership team from sophomore until senior year, remarking that “choosing the most memorable moment is nearly impossible, because every trek, workshop, and the monthly meeting has offered tremendous value.” Emily remembers her most defining moment in CWIB as the first Pumpkin Patch event she ever went to, recalling she “didn’t know anyone in the organization at this point and I felt so out of place. But I ended up meeting two inspiring women who have been super influential in both my academic and career life. This helped me realize how important it is to build a good network but more importantly how awesome it is to surround yourself with strong women who lift each other up.”

Though they face an unprecedented end to their senior year and may not be able to walk across the stage side by side, these seniors do leave behind words of wisdom for the rest of us to consider and embody in what time remains for the rest of us.

Emily Vang: Never doubt yourself – you are so capable and deserving of anything you put your mind to!

Erica Sullivan: Connections matter. Never burn bridges. You never know what a connection from networking will turn into a job opportunity. That’s how I got my full-time job!

Abby Mercatoris-Morrison: Even though I am a business major, I love everything creative and artistic. During my freshman year, I felt a void in my life. I was so used to my art classes in high school and being surrounded by the art community. When I came to Tech, that changed and I felt that something was missing. I added my minors, which helped with that void, but when I entered my graduate program I truly felt like I was whole again. Take a chance by looking into accelerated graduate programs (saves you time and money), make meaningful connections with your professors, and engage in your passions. Network within the CWIB community!

Along with Erica, Emily, and Abby, the Chronicles would like to congratulate our other amazing seniors on the leadership team! Class of 2020, we are so proud of you!

Ashton Hughes

Mel Christ

Elizabeth Sweeney

Kaelyn Petrides


By: Lindsay Barnes


Lockdown Learning

Over the past couple of weeks, students have had to adapt to a situation that no one had seen coming. Due to the complexity of the environment we are currently in, there is no real telling when the lockdown for the Coronavirus will be lifted. Some people say that it will only last until the middle of the summer, while others make far reaches towards even the start of next year. The general consensus seems to be that we will be stuck inside for the summer, and because social distancing is an important part of helping the effects of Coronavirus fade faster, here are some tips and resources to expand your skills and work on improving your resume so that by the time the lockdown is lifted, we will be better prepared than ever to resume our academic activities!

Free Online Courses

Desperate times have called for many changes in people’s lives, destabilizing any plans we might have had for the future before the pandemic. Internships or jobs may have gotten cancelled, or at the very least, moved online, which is not the easiest transition. Because businesses around the world are understanding of this situation, there are a lot of feel-good stories on the Internet about how they are contributing to their community’s welfare. Local restaurants offer free care packages for those in need, and grocery stores are doing their best to minimize contact between customers to prevent the spread of the Coronavirus. Likewise, many organizations online have offered courses for students to utilize at this time to try to learn beyond what they are required to.

edX is an online nonprofit organization that provides free access to different courses. Many top universities around the country such as Harvard or Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) have offered to put their courses online for students to learn for free over the summer. They can be found at, where they are organized by categories such as Computer Science or Humanities. If you want to try to transfer these credits from completed courses onto your transcript, you can look into that more by reaching out to the edX support center. However, there may be an associated fee, and not many courses are provided under this program. Utilize this program to expand upon skills that are not necessarily required for your major. Branch out and widen your individual toolbox so that employers will see you are dedicated to improving, growing, and adapting to all sorts of situations.

There are various other online learning platforms such as Coursera or Udacity. However, it is difficult to get teacher feedback in these courses, and you usually have to pay for a certification. You can take these courses by auditing them, which is having access to the content without being able to have your assignments reviewed. However, you can also apply for Financial Aid for each individual class. While you may have to wait a couple of weeks to hear back from them, it is totally worth the effort if it is a class you really want to explore. With more time on our hands, I encourage you to explore these sites to see if there is an offer you really want to take up!

mug after free online courses

LinkedIn Learning

As we all may have experienced by now, Virginia Tech provides a lot of free resources for students to use. One of such that you may not be familiar with is LinkedIn Learning, which was previously known as Lynda. Virginia Tech partners with LinkedIn Learning to provide us a premium membership with unlimited access to courses, salary or career insights, certification that you can directly transfer onto your LinkedIn profile, and more.  You may be surprised to see how many courses there are for even the narrowest of interests. Use these courses to learn a completely new skill you may not have had the time to explore before, or develop the ones you have already been working on during your time at Virginia Tech.

Rosetta Stone

Another great resource provided by Virginia Tech is Rosetta Stone, which many more students may be familiar with. Rosetta Stone is an online learning resource for many different foreign languages. By logging in with a Virginia Tech PID and password through the University Libraries website, students can have unlimited access to any language on Rosetta Stone, not limited to Spanish, French or German. Learning languages is a very unique way to use your time, and can be very rewarding. Ever thought about studying abroad someday? Focus on learning the new language now to be better prepared in the future! As our world becomes more globalized, employers love to see diverse individuals who are able to communicate with a wide variety of people.

after rosetta stone

CWIB Resources

Always know your CWIB friends are there to support you! Reach out to members, friends, or classmates about starting a book club related to your major. Don’t discount the benefits of reading a good book, especially one that covers issues in your field. You will have a better understanding of real-world practices and gain confidence reading about success stories which will help you enter the next school year ready to go.

The Coronavirus lockdown has undoubtedly cancelled many plans for students. However, we can make the best of this time by honing in on our skills, which can be learning a new one or further developing our strengths. By using the resources provided above, you can tackle your lockdown with a great sense of productivity and more useful skills you never thought you would acquire before.

By: Gyu Ri Kim


Power Panel Recap

Collegiate Women in Business held their 6th annual Power Panel on April 8, and first ever Zoom Virtual Power Panel, with three incredible women as the panelists: Christina Daves, Jill Mills, and Vicki Petrides. The event consisted of a Q and A moderated by our VP of Showcase, Abby Riggs. Emma Harwood’s overall impression of the Power Panel was that “the panelists were truly passionate about conveying to us that women can do anything they want in the workforce. From flying planes, to starting a business, or working in male-dominant positions, we shouldn’t be afraid to speak our ideas into truth because we have a powerful effect on those around us.” This event was inspiring and everyone that participated in Power Panel walked away with important lessons learned.  Lauren Miles’ biggest takeaway was that “if you work hard enough and are determined to succeed, you will always be able to work out your path in life.” We are so thankful to these three women for giving us insight on their experiences and memorable advice. Grace Farmelo’s favorite piece of advice was from Vicki Petrides, “you are the only one who can limit yourself.” Below is a recap of the event for those who may have missed it or want a reminder of how empowered, prepared, and connected “she is.”

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This AMAZING graphic capturing the highlights of Power Panel was created by Shannon Cabrey, one of CWIB’s founders! You can find this graphic and other creative pieces on her Instagram, @shannydooodles

What was your biggest challenge after college when entering into your new professional life?

Vicki Petrides talked about how after graduating from college she wasn’t sure what she wanted to do. She didn’t have terrific grades and found herself second guessing her abilities. Her first year in the job market she received many rejections and decided graduate school was the best move for her to find her way. While in graduate school, Vicki volunteered and tried different jobs to gain experience and find her niche. She found that she really enjoyed doing statistical work for museums because of her love for art and history. When it came to settling down in a career she had two paths available to her, working for an art consultant or as a statistician at Abbott. After some deliberation she decided working for Abbott made the most sense for her at the time because of the stability offered by the job. Her first job at Abbott wasn’t exactly statistics, but she knew she made the right choice and enjoyed working for the company. With an interest in healthcare, Vicki stayed with Abbott and continued to move up in her career!

What was the biggest disadvantage of being a woman in your industry?

As a pilot, Jill Mills is a minority being a woman in her industry. When she started her career, only 2% of her field were female. Luckily, that percentage has slowly grown to 7% but Jill  says the  “entire industry has been geared towards men, that was the norm,” and she hoped to change the status quo. Being a female pilot, she never felt she  was any different but did understand others saw her as different. In fact, Jill recalled having to take a personality test as a means of entering the aviation industry from the get go, and the results said she wasn’t fit for the job because she was too much of a girl, “well that’s a good thing!” Jill remarked. It turned out that the personality test used in the aviation industry had been skewed towards men. Jill hoped to make the aviation industry more accessible to females and saw her disadvantage not as a fight, but more a test of patience. Her advice for women in similar positions would be “figure out how you can change your field for the better.”

If you had to choose one word, what do you think “she is “ represents?

Christina Daves chose the word collaboration, believing “you should surround yourself with people who are smarter than you and collaborate with them because they will lift you up further in your career.”

Vicki Petrides chose well-connected. Being well-connected helps Vicki in her remote job because she knows who to reach out to and who she can rely on to get things done.

Jill Mills chose powerful, saying she “truly believes that ‘she is’ means girls are so much more powerful, in a gentle way,  in a sense of staying strong, committed to your path and having a powerful inner self.”

What is one thing “she is” not?  

Christina said “she does not give up.” As an entrepreneur, Christina has inevitably been faced with moments where she wanted to give up. She was trying to market her CastMEdic designs but had been facing 5 months of “many doors closed.” Just as she wanted to give up, she received an email inviting her on the Steve Harvey show, an opportunity that launched her business. Christina said “you’re  going to fail, it’s a fact of life, but that’s okay as long as you grow and move forward from it.”

Vicki said “she is not at a disadvantage being female. As a woman in STEM, Vicki believes she is  actually at an advantage because she stands out and  people remember her. Vicki noted that “being a woman is something to be proud of, you bring a perspective others may not have if in a male dominated field.”

Jill said “she is not  incapable,” women should “stick to the course, stay with the course, and prove them wrong”.

If you could give your college self one piece of advice what would it be?

Christina said she would have told herself to “just ask!” Christina believes most people won’t tell you no because they probably want to help.

Vicki would have told herself to network more and not be afraid to tell people what you want! When she was in college she felt shy about networking. Now being on the flip side, she says that regardless of age or where you are in your career many people are eager to help you.

Jill would have told her younger self to embrace college. “Let the stress and struggles mellow down, because these lead you down a path to exactly where you’re supposed to go.”

As a woman, how do you balance your career with your personal life?

According to Jill, if you have a big goal understand that there will be sacrifices. She said “you may have to miss some events with friends as you are progressing in your career and in life.” All three women could agree choosing a partner who supports you and your goals is incredibly important to maintaining a balanced life. Christina has sought to be a role model for her daughter and her son as far as showing him what a strong woman looks like. As women, choosing a partner who believes in us as much as we do helps our own careers flourish, as well as represents to our kids what it looks like to be successful in work and life.

What are your thoughts on glass ceiling issues for women?

All three women agreed they don’t believe there is a glass ceiling for women anymore. Vicki believes that “you can only really limit yourself, don’t let anyone tell you no!” Jill replied, “ Women have been successful, we have the ability to do anything despite getting ‘no’s’ along the way.”

What are your future goals?

Christina has more recently discovered her true passion of speaking to people and helping them achieve their goals, she hopes to continue doing this as long as she can!

Vicki hopes to promote the voice of other statisticians to let them know they have a lot to contribute and can have a huge influence on the way the company and industry goes.

Jill dreams of flying bigger planes in the coming years, as well as focusing on giving back and being a part of the future of aviation.

Thank you so much to Christina, Jill, and Vicki for sharing their stories and inspiring pieces of advice with us! We will take your encouraging statements with us as we pursue our careers and believe we can achieve the goals we have for ourselves.

By: Lindsay Barnes


Power Panel Preview: Getting to Know Your Panelists

It’s that time of the year again! Power Panel, on April 8th from 7 to 8 pm via Zoom, is back for another year to celebrate the key values of CWIB; empower, prepare, and connect. Our inspiring panelists, all women in business who excel in their careers, will go live online to speak to their own experience in the workforce, take questions, and offer advice for navigating the modern working world as a woman. Learning from those who came before you is a valuable opportunity, so don’t forget to ask questions and get engaged during the event. Each of these ambitious women have a unique story they are excited to share with our members at the panel, but before then, here is a little bit of background on our speakers.

christina davesChristina Daves

Hometown: Northern Virginia

Education: Virginia Tech

Hobbies/ side hustles: Spending time outside, taking boxing classes, and mentoring students as a member of the Virginia Tech Marketing Board. She also features products on TV as an on-air spokesperson.

Role Model: Her grandmother, who moved from Russia to Berlin during the Bolshevik Revolution to start a new life. She endured Nazi rule in Germany, while being of Jewish faith, and even after horrible treatment from relatives who joined the Nazi party, she persevered and learned to forgive those family members. “She taught me to be strong, to always believe in yourself, do the right thing and the rest will happen.”

Christina Daves is the founder of PR for Anyone® and CastMedic Designs. In her role as a PR agent at PR for Anyone®, Daves helps businesses improve their social media presence by teaching people how to publicize their skills and knowledge online. This helps businesses quickly gain exposure and bring in many new customers.

When asked how she arrived at this point in her career, Daves claimed it was mostly by accident. After graduating college and losing her father to cancer, she let go of a potential job in Germany to pursue entrepreneurship. She planned events, sold real estate, and started a company that performed feasibility studies for potential buildings. Then, after owning a retail store with a friend for 10 years, she sold her share and befell an accident that put her in a medical boot. This boot was the beginning of CastMedic Designs. Daves found the boot to be an eyesore and designed fashionable ways to decorate it. Bringing her product idea to the marketplace, she realized that she had to educate her consumers about her new product and taught herself public relations techniques for social media. She and her product have been featured on many popular news outlets, like FOX and NBC, as well as a variety of magazines and newspapers. Noticing her success, people began to call her and ask for help gaining exposure for their own businesses. From there, PR for Anyone® was born.

In terms of obstacles in her life and career, Daves claims that as an entrepreneur, “you always have to be ready to pivot.” Losing her father was one of her greatest obstacles in life, but it has helped to shape who she is today. Her advice on facing life’s challenges is to learn how to “fail forward” and learn from your mistakes, as well as realizing that sometimes you may have to be patient and persistent to get what you want.

On another note, one of her greatest successes was publishing her two books, the second of which hit the #1 spot on Amazon and Barnes and Noble. She also enjoys seeing her clients experience success from her PR services. She credits some of her current success to her experience as an officer for the Chi Omega sorority at Virginia Tech, in which the national branch implemented a system she had designed for her own chapter. This has given her the confidence to put her business ideas to the test and move forward from failure.To anyone looking to pursue a career in public relations, Daves says that “you don’t always have to follow the system.” By teaching herself the skills she needed to know, she created her own system and shares it with others. Hard work and adaptability are key, especially for women entering the workforce.

For Christina Daves, ‘She Is’ means that women support one another and collaborate in the workplace. “When women collaborate and lift one another up, magic happens!”

jill millsJill Mills

Hometown: Born in Kansas City, Missouri. Lives in Virginia currently

Education: Virginia Tech

Hobbies/ side hustles: Running, triathlons, snowboarding, and mountain climbing. In her spare time, she lobbies for aviation and international safety issues as a member of the Technical Staff for Flight Safety Foundation. She also fund-raises for kids with cancer and heart disease at an organization she co-founded, Swing For A Cure.

Role Model: Her career role model is Jane Garvey, the Federal Aviation Administration Chief and a leader in the aviation industry. In her personal life, she looks up to her dad, Joseph Hahn, “for his tenacity and huge dreams.”

Jill Mills is a 737 Captain and Line Check Airman at United Airlines. In her position as Captain, she coordinates all teams needed for a flight and ensures that the plane is flown to its destination on time. Her ability to collaborate with others is crucial, as she works with many different departments, including flight planning, maintenance, flight attendants, and ground personnel. As a Line Check Airman, she flies with new pilots and upgrading Captains on behalf of the Federal Aviation Administration and as a representative of the flight training program.

Mills gained experience with flying early in life, and confesses to life-long love of planes. Coming from a military family, she has fond memories of flying with her dad and brother on weekends. She did not believe that her love of flying could lead to a career in aviation at the time, because women did not fly in combat. That was until she discovered the ‘general aviation program,’ which offered a career in flight outside of the military. After graduating from the Pamplin School of Business at VT, she made her way through flight school, taught others how to fly, and flew corporate jets as a way of gaining experience before applying to fly at a commercial airline.

As a female pilot, Mills faced many obstacles. When she began her career, women only made up 2% of the industry. In fact, she claims some people would leave the plane before take-off upon discovering that she was a woman, or would mistake her for a flight attendant. But, she credits her father for encouraging her and recollects that he “did not see any difference between the boys and me.” She also endured many common challenges for all pilots, including passing her flying skill test and long hours, but those experiences ultimately helped her gain respect from her colleagues. Regardless of what has stood in her way, she has chosen to see “the humor in most of the negatives,” and still loves her career.

Mills is proud to have been both an instructor and a Captain for a major airline. She also enjoyed knowing that she made a difference in her industry after the Federal Aviation Administration Reauthorization Bill passed, since she lobbied on different aspects of the bill for many years. Mills believes that aviation is an amazing field of work because it combines so many different interests from the world of business. Her business degree has helped her explore other areas of work in her industry, such as hiring, safety, and lobbying. It also broadens the horizons of business and allows it to run smoothly across the world. In her words, pilots “literally move the world.”

To be successful as a pilot, she says you must have a stellar work ethic and ability to focus on the goal at hand, because “once you make a plan, it’s like being dropped off in the middle of the snowy woods without anyone there to help.” Being strong and not letting obstacles take you off track from your objective are also key characteristics of a good pilot. Mills encourages anyone entering the working world to discover what you love to do and “make it your life!” And, that it’s okay if that takes some time because if you listen to your heart, you can always make your dream a reality.

For Jill Mills, ‘She is’ means that women can do anything if they “work hard enough and dream big enough.” At her place of work, she illustrates ‘She is’ when she puts her Captain’s uniform on, because she knows how much work it took to earn it.

vickipetridesVicki Petrides

Hometown: Born in Farmington Hills, Michigan. Currently lives in Bethesda, Maryland.

Education: University of Michigan in Ann Arbor and University of Cincinnati

Hobbies/ side hustles: Spending time with family, biking, swimming, and gardening to name a few. Skiing is also one of her favorite activities.

Role Model: Her father, Lee Hill. He has always inspired her to be at her best and gave her the confidence to follow her dreams. She remembers the lessons in business he taught her and her sister while they were growing up, including how to give a proper handshake and how to debate sensitive issues. She believes that he continues to teach his grandchildren these lessons, as well.

Vicki Petrides is the Principal Research Statistician for Abbott Laboratories. As a statistician, she designs studies to assess the performance of laboratory diagnostic tests. She also reviews and summarizes the results of those tests and explains the results to regulatory authorities. Her role requires her to interact with scientists, doctors, engineers, marketers, and regulator professionals across the globe. She is also the Statistical Working Group Co-Chair for AdvaMed, a medical device industry trade association. As Co-Chair, she organizes an annual joint statistical conference between the FDA and her industry and consults on issues affecting the diagnostic industry.

When asked about her career path, Petrides explained that she took a job at Abbott after graduate school based on her interest in health care research. She recollects that this was a groundbreaking time for medical research, as Abbott was developing a drug to help HIV patients that was being reviewed by the FDA. This exciting development inspired Petrides to continue working at Abbott, where she continues to enjoy the exciting work her industry offers. A source of pride for Petrides in her career was when she became the lead statistician on Abbott’s cardiac troponin test. She was working on this project as research on troponin’s effectiveness at diagnosing heart attacks was being published. Allowing the use of troponin for heart attacks “transformed standard medical practice” and continues to do so today. She appreciates knowing that she contributed to the improvement of cardiac disease care, especially since her family has a history with the disease.

One of the most notable challenges in Petrides career was balancing her work life and her family life after the birth of her first daughter. She asked to work part-time after returning from maternity leave, but her boss asked if she could work full-time from home three days per week, instead. She says that the challenge made her feel “simultaneously excited and nervous,” but that the situation ended up working well for her. Her experience as one of the first people in her organization to work remotely actually helped her to succeed in her career because instead of setting her back, it provided her with an opportunity to explore a new method of working that elevated her skills and productivity in the eyes of her colleagues and superiors.

To anyone looking to join her in her field of work, Petrides says that statistics is always exciting and versatile in the way it can be applied to other fields. She claims that she once considered pursuing a career in assessing museum visitor experience satisfaction, and that she knew classmates that became economists and survey research scientists. Young women interested in statistics should be confident, according to Petrides. New employees often make the mistake of spending too much time solving a problem by themselves or of pretending to know more than they really do. You must learn to ask for help, foster relationships, and celebrate successes. “Enjoy yourself and keep in mind what is most important to you.”

To Vicki Petrides, ‘She Is’ means that women are valuable team members with great ideas. Women are leaders “who take measured risks, seek new challenges, and overcome what others perceive as obstacles.” At her place of work, she demonstrates ‘She Is’ by being a spokesperson for her colleagues and promoting their skills, mentoring, and giving her colleagues the same kind of confidencer her father gave her.

After getting to know a little bit about these fantastic women, I am sure you are excited to hear from them face-to-face! If you would like to hear more about their professional journeys, their struggles, and their triumphs, make sure to tune in on April 8th at 7pm, using this Zoom link If you want to keep up to date with the event details, check out the Facebook event page here,

By: Lauren Miles 

Remain Focused: Study Tips to Stay Motivated and Focused Until Spring Break

Are you already thinking of the warm and sandy beaches you will be on in less than two weeks? Have you already checked out of the school mindset and are planning what you will be wearing on the beach? With spring break looming around the corner, it can be difficult to stay focused and keep on track in school. It is especially important during the last few weeks leading up to it because, it seems that professors always schedule projects, quizzes, and exams all around this time! It sometimes feels like we are drowning in all of the work we have to do right before we can go on vacation. I know in the past I have struggled to stay completely focused on my schoolwork with spring break coming up so soon. It seems that the thought of spring break is always in the back of your mind and you are thinking, what am I going to pack? Which clothes and bathing suits should I bring? All of these questions and thoughts pop up and then distract you from getting your work done. In this article I will touch on a few good study tips on how they are beneficial to you as a student. Some of these study techniques I have used in the past have worked well for me. I hope that this article will help you achieve your study goals and help you stay motivated and focused up until spring break!


My first study tip is one I use all the time and it is to study in groups. This can either be with your friends, or peers from your classes. I have found that studying with other people helps me a lot more than if I were to only study by myself. While sometimes you need to study alone, working with other people also proves to be a strong tool that can help you get the score you want on that exam. The reason why I like working in groups is because it allows me to discuss topics and in return, I end up learning more. Another reason why study groups are so beneficial is you get to help other people and explain certain concepts to them. I find that once I am able to explain a problem or a concept to someone without hesitation, I fully understand the material, and this is achieved through working with others! I also did some research to see if there were any studies done to support this, and I found one article that conducted a study at a university and compared students’ grades that work in groups to the other students’ grades that do not work in study groups. Through this study, it was found that participating in a study group resulted in positive achievements for those students. This particular study also found how collaborating with other classmates in turn motivated each member of the study group to be efficient when studying alone, and resulted in better outcomes when the students would study by themselves.

One interesting point that Graham Hendry made was the importance of who you are studying with. He discussed how to be selective of who you will be studying with and how that can affect your time. It is obvious that if you are friends with the people in your group and you all get along, there is more of a chance that working together will result in positive outcomes, as opposed to working with people that do not get along well. So, with these results, forming groups and collaborating with your fellow students can foster higher test scores and a deeper understanding of your class’s material. While we all know that sometimes studying with your friends or peers can be distracting, the positive consequences outweigh the distractions that can sometimes result from study groups.


The next tip I would like to discuss is the importance of taking breaks. It is sometimes hard enough motivating yourself to sit down for a long period of time and grind out all of your work, but it can be even more difficult to do this if you are sitting down for four or five straight hours with no breaks. Also, it is helpful to clear your head, de-stress, and take mental breaks in order to be efficient during your studying time. Here are some dos and don’ts for breaks:

Firstly, you want to keep your break shorter rather than longer. A suggested time length would be 10 minutes. This way there is less likely of a chance you can get distracted and it will be easier for you to get back on track, as opposed to taking, lets say, a 30 minute break. It is also important to make sure you aren’t sitting down for extended periods of time; periodically get up and stretch your legs, or when it is time for a rest, incorporate movement during it. In the end though, you know what works best for you, and also when it is time you need a break.

Like previously said, it seems that professors dump what it seems to be an endless amount of work the week before spring break, and it can feel extremely overwhelming. It is important to stay focused and positive so you can be efficient and do well on your exams and assignments. As members of CWIB we are all motivated and successful young women, but sometimes we all struggle with staying focused especially with spring break so close! I hope that these study suggestions will be useful and will in turn result in positive outcomes with your school work. We have one more week until break, so just hang in there and finish this week off strong!

By: Ashley Mattson