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Simmons Students Participate in U.S. Department of State Grant Program for Women's Leadership

BOSTON (September 24, 2012) — Ten Simmons College students and 20 visiting students from Africa participated in a 5-week leadership development program hosted by Simmons this summer. "The Study of the U.S. Institute on Women's Leadership" program was part of a broader U.S. Department of State initiative designed to promote a better understanding of the U.S. abroad, and to help develop future world leaders.

Second year student and president of the on-campus club, Sexuality, Women, and Gender Center (SWAG), Lindsey Conrad said, "there are so many double standards that women face in leadership positions, but it is completely possible to succeed despite a climate that might not encourage success."

The 20 African women hailed from Angola, Liberia, Mozambique, Sierra Leone, and South Sudan. Through the program, both the Simmons and the African students immersed themselves in American history, with a special focus on women's leadership. The women attended courses focused on critical thinking, communication, decision-making, and managerial skills, and women in U.S. politics, economics, culture, and society. The students also traveled to Atlanta and Washington, D.C. to learn about the Civil Rights Movement. The program was made possible through a grant from the U.S. Department of State.

Senior Simmons student Rhonda Edwards said of the program, "I gained a new found confidence in myself, my qualifications, and my abilities." Edwards' new confidence helped her create a new non-profit with a women's education initiative partnered with a fellow classmate.

Other students who participated in "Women Changing the Face of Leadership:"

Amy Concannon (Senior) — International Relations
Lindsey Conrad (Sophomore) — Undecided
Anna Dubey (Senior) — Economics
Colleen Dubois (Junior) — Psychology
Amanda Hukanovic (Senior) — Political Science
Thao Duy Nguyen (Sophomore) — Undecided

Founded in 1899, Simmons College ( is a nationally recognized university located in the heart of Boston with a history of visionary thinking and social responsibility. It offers undergraduate education for women, and renowned coeducational graduate programs in nursing and health sciences, liberal arts, library and information science, social work, as well as an MBA program designed for women. Follow Simmons on Twitter @SimmonsCollege and @SimmonsNews