Stockton Women's Leadership Council

Women's Leadership Council

Stockton Women's Leadership Council

New council aims to create a tradition of female leadership that will have a sustainable impact at Stockton and across our region.

The beginning of the year saw the beginning of a new initiative sponsored by the Stockton University Foundation: the Stockton Women’s Leadership Council (SWLC). The Council is dedicated to the empowerment of women and seeks to promote networking among women and the community.

“We know a group of empowered women empower others,” said Johanna Johnson, a founding member of the SWLC and chair of the Stockton Foundation. “Together, we can make an impact on the next generation and in our community.”

The SWLC hosted Ferial Govashiri, former personal aide to President Barack Obama, as their inaugural speaker for the Distinguished Women, Distinguished Voices series on April 4, 2019. Govishiri’s talk, Tiny Cracks: Breaking the Glass Ceiling, reflected on how her identity as a first-generation American and her family’s experience as immigrants had a tremendous impact on her professional trajectory.

Ferial Govashiri
Ferial Govashiri speaks at the inaugural Distinguished Women, Distinguished Voices series on April 4.

Govashiri also highlighted the benefits of mentorship, networking and other tips for succeeding in the workforce.

The SWLC ran a pilot of their mentorship program, matching four Stockton students with mentors to provide education support, career development, skills enhancement, professional identity, leadership development and student retention advice.

“Becoming a mentee with the Stockton Women’s Leadership Council has been a wonderful experience and has helped me step out of my comfort zone,” said Tina Byrne '21. “My mentor and I have developed a relationship that has provided me with an incredible amount of confidence, security and support. The mentorship has prepared me to enter the workforce, focusing on perfecting my cover letter and resumé, interview skills and self-marketing.”

Tina Byrne and Susan Adelizzi-Schmidt
Tina Byrne '21 with her mentor Susan Adelizzi-Schmidt, of Suasion Communications

The council has 13 mentors and mentees signed up for the 2019-2020 academic year.

Founding members of the SWLC include Cristina Stummer, chair of the SWLC; Donna Albano, Donna Buzby, Alexa D’Amato Barrera, Susan Davenport, Pamela Fields, Andrea Giannini, Lori Herndon, Lynne Kesselman, Jessica Kowal, Rita Mack, and Roxanne Passarella.

To learn more on the Stockton Women’s Leadership Council, sign up for the mentorship program, or view a calendar of events, visit