Brian's Corner

Amazing...It Was.

The second annual Women’s Leadership Symposium, “Be Amazing,” was just that…amazing! To think that in its second year the program grew from 400 to 800 registrants is amazing in itself. Add to that the increase in panels from two to seven and the addition of nine break-out sessions and 50 expo tables representing organizations from across the region and companies interested in recruiting talented women. The partnership between CSU and Ohio University to produce this event was also amazing, as were the unforgettable talks by alumna Rachel Talton and Nancy Frates. The day was truly amazing and powerful.

The Women’s Leadership Symposium grew from a discussion over a cup of coffee between CSU Vice President for Student Affairs Boyd Yarbrough and myself. We were in a deep conversation about ways to empower and engage our women students with alumnae in the community. Both of us believe in the power of cross-generational relationships. The decision to expand the event to include Ohio University took place over another cup of coffee and stimulating conversation months later. There has to be a good coffee commercial buried here.

When you take the time to sit down and actually converse with someone, it’s amazing what you can conceptualize, mobilize around, and accomplish. I’ve shared with you before my concerns with our ever-growing reliance on devices to communicate and our lack of actual communication. In my opinion, nothing will replace a good conversation where the flow of ideas, opinions, and commonalities/differences is valued and appreciated. You just can’t accomplish that with texts. The Women’s Leadership Symposium never would have materialized without good initial, and ongoing, conversations.

Speaking of good conversations, I also want to acknowledge the alumni and friends who participated in our recent events in Florida and Arizona. We only make it out to these parts annually, and the reception and engagement from these alumni is always refreshing and inspiring. More than 50 alumni took part in a day of education in Ft. Myers, and a packed house turned out for a reception in The Villages. Close to 90 alumni and friends enjoyed a reception overlooking Scottsdale and a fantastic baseball game at Goodyear Park in Arizona. As we begin planning for next year, we’re considering a return to Sarasota and possibly a golf outing in Phoenix. If you’re interested, send us a note at

Amazing things are happening at CSU and with our alumni across the world. If you haven’t engaged with us lately, it’s never too late. We welcome all.