Junior Nickie Bartels represented Stephens College last week at a global conference in New York sponsored by The Women in Public Service Project.
“A Global Conversation: Why the UN Must Focus on Women’s Leadership,” hosted by Barnard College, brought together international leaders to talk about ways to boost the number of females taking on government and service roles.
“One thing they talked a lot about was that if you change the people at the table, you change the perspective,” Bartels said. “You can then address issues that a group of men might not otherwise think about. You bring a whole different perspective.”
The conference featured former New Zealand Prime Minister Helen Clark, who is currently the administrator of the United Nation’s Development Program, and included the deputy executive director of UN Women, Mexico’s tourism secretary
and the executive director of Georgetown’s Institute for Women, Peace and Security.
“It was so neat to meet everyone,” Bartels said. “The other student delegates were amazing, as well. They’re going to do awesome things, too.”
Stephens College joined The Women in Public Service Project last month, making Bartels’ trip a spur-of-the-moment opportunity. Bartels said she received an email from her advisor, Susan Bartel, dean of the School of Organizational Leadership and Strategic Communication, inviting her to participate just a week before the conference.
“It felt surreal,” Bartels said.
Bartels is studying strategic communications and integrated marketing in hopes of going on to law school. She wants that law background in order to start a not-for-profit organization to educate women about reproductive rights.
The conference “reaffirms my belief that this is what I want to do, and that it is doable,” she said.
Stephens College funded the trip through Magic Moments, a discretionary fund in President Dianne Lynch’s office that pays for unique opportunities that arise for students.
“I can’t thank Dianne enough,” Bartels said. “I feel if I were at any other school, I wouldn’t have had this opportunity. Stephens really prepared me for this both educationally and personally.”
Most computers will open PDF documents automatically, but you may need to download Adobe Reader.