Leadership Program Empowers Stockton Students

Twenty-six students from colleges and universities across New Jersey participated in a three-day residential women in leadership program at Rutgers University this June. Stockton students Rachel Dunlap (Newark) and Detty-Maidanove Exantus (Pleasantville) were sponsored by the William J. Hughes Center for Public Policy to attend the program.

Galloway, N.J. – Did you know that New Jersey has never sent a woman to the U.S. Senate? Or that New Jersey ranks 23rd among the 50 states in the proportion of women serving in its legislature?

To address women’s underrepresentation in politics, the Center for American Women and Politics (CAWP), housed at Rutgers University’s New Brunswick campus, hosts the Susan N. Wilson NEW Leadership residential program, which introduces college women to the world of politics and successful women leaders in the field to encourage them to consider how the political process plays a role in their daily lives.

Two Stockton University students, Rachel Dunlap, from Newark, and Detty-Maidanove Exantus, from Pleasantville, were sponsored by the William J. Hughes Center for Public Policy to attend the program this June.

Rachel Dunlap
Photo courtesy of Rachel Dunlap. 

“The William J. Hughes Center for Public Policy at Stockton is pleased to support students who want to attend this unique leadership program designed to increase the representation of women in politics,” said Tina Zappile, director of the center. “In this powerful training, our students learn how to be more involved in the political process, whether through a career in public service, work in the private sector, or community involvement. The voices of Detty and Rachel, along with other Stockton NEWL alumni, are critical for a thriving democracy.”

For Dunlap, an Africana Studies major, the program was a “welcoming environment” that allowed her to experience perspectives different from her own in an empowering space.

“We were accepted from the moment we got there to the very end. It was an amazing opportunity to be surrounded by like-minded women who constantly encouraged and supported other women, even though we didn’t know each other,” Dunlap said. “To a certain extent, I believe that my personal experiences and background allowed me to have a different perspective on different political and global issues that we were discussing. But our differences in perspectives were unifying and understood on an intellectual level, allowing us to empower each other to be better scholars and activists.”

Detty-Maidanove Exantus
Photo courtesy of Detty-Maidanove Exantus.

Exantus felt a mixture of “excitement and nervousness” about the program, but she was ultimately keen to interact with other political science students and offer a unique perspective through her concentration in International Affairs and dual minors in French and Global Studies.  

“I was thrilled to be among a group of accomplished and ambitious women at the beginning of their journeys, although I felt a bit intimidated,” she said. “Despite that, I was eager to learn from them and share my insights. Knowing we were each specifically chosen to be in that room was very reassuring.”

The students’ cohort was the first to experience the typically seven-day residential program at an accelerated pace in three days. In those three days, the students attended workshops on topics such as public speaking and self-reflection on one’s leadership journey and network with each other as well as be introduced to leading women in politics .

Both Dunlap and Exantus aim to bring the lessons that they learned up north back to Stockton.

“I plan on helping other students realize that our everyday life is impacted by politics, so we must begin to take on leadership roles, regardless of how big or small, that allow us to make that change,” Dunlap said. “Furthermore, as an e-board member of a club, I want to depart everything that I’ve learned into my club, encouraging them to become actively engaged global citizens who are able to advocate for themselves and lobby for the issues that they believe in.”  

“The things that I learned were incredibly useful to the point that I believe they are and will continue to influence everything I do,” Exantus said. “For instance, the feedback I received from the public speaking session will be something I refer to in preparation for class presentations and meetings with my organization. It will undoubtedly help me present myself better as a speaker and improve my overall communication skills.” 

The cohort taking selfies together. 
Photo courtesy of Exantus.

Rachel during a presentation. 
Photo courtesy of Dunlap.

Detty posing for a photo with her certificate.
Photo courtesy of Exantus.

The cohort taking selfies together. 
Photo courtesy of Dunlap.

Detty posing with instructors in the program. 
Photo courtesy of Exantus.

Photos courtesy of Dunlap and Exantus.

– Story by Loukaia Taylor

Stockton Faculty Members Continue Learning at NYU

July 3, 2024 

Fifteen Stockton faculty members participated in the June 11-14 Summer Seminar, a mass professional development event offered through the Faculty Resource Network program at New York University.
Fifteen Stockton faculty members participated in the June 11-14 Summer Seminar, a mass professional development event offered through the Faculty Resource Network program at New York University.

Galloway, N.J. – Fifteen Stockton University faculty members immersed themselves in various professional development opportunities offered through the Faculty Resource Network (FRN) program at New York University (NYU) in June.

The faculty who attended the June 11-14 Summer Seminar represented every academic school at Stockton. While the sessions and workshops varied in topic, all of them had a common thread: Exploring new and innovative ways to create a learning environment for both faculty and the students that they teach. Below is a recounting of some of their experiences.

Addressing Student Engagement

Trina Gipson-Jones, Assistant Professor of Health Science & Christine Gayda-Chelder, Associate Professor of Psychology

This year was Gipson-Jones’ and Gayda’s first summer seminar. They both decided that the summer was an excellent opportunity for them to continue learning from colleagues and seminar instructors and make great connections.

From their session, they were able to explore how their colleagues have been stimulating engagement on campus through different strategies, such as fostering a community in the classroom and identifying barriers to learning at the start of the semester.