Conference for Young Women - NIU - Women's, Gender, Sexuality Studies

NIU Conference for Young Women

Spring 2016 Northern Illinois University
Conference for Young Women
Preparing Young Women for College & Leadership

Organized by NIU's Center for the Study of Women, Gender & Sexuality
and College of Liberal Arts & Sciences External Programming Office

Friday, March 11, 2016
Gabel Hall, Learning Center North, NIU-DeKalb Campus

 Click here to register for the conference
(students and chaperones) 

For more information, email Rebekah Kohli at or call 815-753-1038

Now in its 18th year, the NIU Conference for Young Women introduces high school women to the academic side of college life; inspires them to transform their dreams of going to college into reality; and provides opportunities to interact with successful women faculty, professionals, NIU students and alums.

The student registration fee is $20 includes a continental breakfast, lunch and all conference materials. Registration is limited to 40 students and is on a first-come, first-served basis. If you have any questions about the conference, contact Rebekah Kohli at or 815-753-1038. Questions about registration should be directed to College of Liberal Arts & Sciences External Programming ( or 815-753-5200).

2016 Schedule [tentative]

8:00-8:30 a.m.               Check-In & Refreshments

8:30-8:45 a.m.               Welcome & Remarks

  • Dr. Kristen Myers, Director, Center for the Study of Women, Gender & Sexuality
  • Ariel Owens, NIU Undergraduate Student Leader 

8:45-9:30 a.m.               Session I: Icebreaker Activity 

9:30-11:00 a.m.             Session II: College Class Exploration

  • “Women in Science” (tentative title), Dr. Elizabeth Gaillard, Presidential Research Professor of Chemistry & Biochemistry and Biological Sciences
  • “De-Mythicizing Images of La Malinche and la Virgen de Guadalupe,” Dr. Linda Saborio, Associate Professor of Spanish
  • “Women, Domesticity, and Creativity in 19th-Century America," Dr. Diana Swanson, Associate Professor of Women’s & Gender Studies and English

11:00 a.m.-12:15 p.m. Lunch with Keynote Speaker: Dr. Vernese Edghill-Walden

Dr. Vernese Edghill-Walden is Senior Associate Vice President for Academic Diversity and the first-ever Chief Diversity Officer at Northern Illinois University. Prior to joining NIU, Dr. Edghill-Walden served as provost and chief academic officer at City Colleges of Chicago. She began her academic career at Franklin & Marshall College, in Lancaster, PA, where she was a minority student adviser. She then became director of the Center for Black Culture at the University of Delaware, where she established a first-year experience mentoring program for African American students. She also served as director of diversity at Georgetown Day School. Dr. Edghill-Walden received her bachelor's degree in sociology from Bucknell University, where she served as president of the University's NAACP chapter. She earned a master's degree in higher education administration from the University of Delaware, and a Ph.D. in Sociology from Howard University.

12:15-1:30 p.m.             Session III: Campus Tour

1:30-2:30 p.m.               Session IV: Get Involved: Learning Beyond the Classroom

  • Katelyn Bagadiong, NIU Undergraduate Student Leader
  • Christie Miksys, NIU Undergraduate Student Leader
  • Jacqueline Nevarez, NIU Undergraduate Student Leader

2:30-2:45 p.m.               Wrap-up & Evaluation

For more information, contact Rebekah Kohli at or 815-753-1044

Conference for Young Women logo

Conference Organizers:

  • Center for the Study of Women, Gender & Sexuality
  • College of Liberal Arts & Sciences External Programming 

“I would recommend this conference because I feel it encourages you to step out of your comfort zone and shows you that just because you're a girl doesn't mean you can't work or be a part of a male dominated field.”

"I learned a lot about how to be happy in your life – not to let anything, including gender, stop you from doing what you want to do. Also, it may take a few tries, but it is not bad to start over in order to pursue your dreams."

“It's an amazing experience. An eye-opener about college and women's rights, the power we have, and what we can do."

“You learn so much about other people and get to experience a little of college life.”

"I would recommend this conference to other people because it was really fun, made me really think about the college I want to go to, (and it) also taught me there are so many things women can do!"