HRDC announces speakers for Dynamic Conversations for Women series

July 02, 2010

Penn State’s Human Resource Development Center (HRDC) has announced the speakers for the 2010-11 Dynamic Conversations for Women luncheon series. The Dynamic Conversations for Women series is a luncheon series intended to expose participants to women who have been successful. Women leaders will present their experiences, challenges and practical advice for communicating and interacting in the workplace. Sessions will be in a relaxed atmosphere so that there is opportunity for open dialogue and dynamic conversations between presenters and participants.

-- On July 20, from noon until 1:15 p.m. in 431 James M. Elliott Building, Peggy Lorah will speak on "Appreciating Yourself." Lorah is the director of the Center for Women Students and is affiliate faculty in Counselor Education, College Student Affairs, and Women Studies. She has a master’s degree in community counseling from Shippensburg University and a doctorate in counselor education from Penn State. Before coming to Penn State in 1999, she practiced as a feminist therapist working with both mental health and substance abuse issues. Her areas of specialization are trauma, addictions, and LGBT issues. An area of special interest is helping women to identify their strengths and talents. To register, visit HRDC's Online Catalog and type "Lorah" in the keyword search.

-- On Sept. 21, from noon until 1:15 p.m. in 431 James M. Elliott Building, Coquese Washington will speak on "Leading is FUNdamental: Developing a Winning Leadership Style." Washington, now in her third season at Penn State, was introduced as the fifth head coach of the Penn State women’s basketball program on April 23, 2007. Washington is the first female African-American head coach in Penn State history. Washington came to Happy Valley after eight seasons as an associate head coach and assistant coach under Muffet McGraw at Notre Dame, her alma mater. Washington was a four-year starting point guard for Notre Dame under McGraw and was the team captain on Notre Dame’s first-ever NCAA Tournament team. The epitome of a student-athlete, Washington graduated from Notre Dame in 1992, a full year ahead of schedule, with a bachelor’s degree in history. She went on to attain “Double Domer” status in 1997 after earning her Juris Doctorate from the Notre Dame Law School. Utilizing her law degree, Washington was a central figure in helping create the WNBA Players Association (WNBPA), serving as the founding president of the WNBPA from 1999 until 2001. Washington assisted with the efforts of the WBCA Pink Zone at Penn State to raise money and awareness for breast cancer. She also created Coquese’s Drive for the Women’s Resource Center. The first Coquese’s Drive raised $5,400 for the Centre County Women’s Resource Center to aid in the fight against domestic violence. Washington is currently serving on the 29-member WBCA Board of Directors and is a member of the USA Basketball Women’s Junior National Team Committee. To register, please visit HRDC's Online Catalog and type "Washington" in the keyword search.

-- On Nov. 16, from noon until 1:15 p.m. in 431 James M. Elliott Building, Barbara Korner will speak on "Training the Butterflies to Fly in Formation." As dean of the Penn State College of Arts and Architecture, Dr. Korner oversees seven academic units plus the Center for the Performing Arts, Palmer Museum of Art, and Pennsylvania Centre Stage. Before coming to Penn State in June 2007, Dr. Korner, who holds the rank of professor of theatre, served as associate dean for academic and student affairs in the College of Fine Arts at the University of Florida. While there, she also spent a year as interim dean of the College of Fine Arts. Her other academic administrative experience includes serving as dean of fine and performing arts at Seattle Pacific University and special assistant to the chancellor at the University of Missouri at Columbia, in addition to positions at Ohio University. Dr. Korner holds a Ph.D. from Ohio University in interdisciplinary fine arts, a master’s in theatre performance, and an undergraduate degree in theatre production. She has been recognized as a distinguished alumna of the College of Fine Arts at Ohio University. Her women’s history performances have been funded by humanities councils in both Missouri and the state of Washington. She is the writer and performer of Responding to the Call: African-American Women Preachers. With Carla Waal, she is the co-editor of Hardship and Hope: Missouri Women Writing About Their Lives. Dr. Korner holds a certificate from the Institute for Management and Leadership at Harvard University. She is the co-director of the Leadership Institute of the Association for Theatre in Higher Education (ATHE), which she founded with Mark Heckler, president of Valparaiso University. Most recently, she was elected to the board of directors for the International Council of Fine Arts Deans. She maintains an active role as a performer and presents communication, leadership, and strategic planning workshops to a wide range of organizations and institutions. To register, visit HRDC's Online Catalog and type "Korner" in the keyword search.

-- On Jan. 18, 2011 from noon until 1:15 p.m. in 431 James M. Elliott Building, Cathy Dufour will speak on "Managing Up: Strategies for Success with Your Boss." Dufour is Associate Director in the Corporate & Foundation Relations office in the division of University Development and Alumni Relations fund raising with corporations in an effort to enhance new and existing relationships and work toward strategic partnerships. Prior to this position Ms. Dufour participated in Penn State’s Administrative Fellows program, a year-long fellowship offering exposure to and experience in administrative decision making at the executive level of the university. She also worked in Career Services on campus, as associate director for 10 years, where she oversaw employer relations and on-campus interviewing, and assistant director for eight years where she was responsible for outreach programming efforts, programs, and career fairs offered at Career Services. Dufour earned a bachelor of arts degree from Penn State (1984, speech communications, University Scholars Program), a master of arts degree from Bowling Green State University (1986, College Student Personnel), and is currently working on a doctor of education degree in Higher Education at Penn State. To register, visit HRDC's Online Catalog and type "Dufour" in the keyword search.

-- On March 15, 2011, from noon until 1:15 p.m. in 431 James. M. Elliott Building, Gail Hurley will speak on "Leading and Supervising from the Heart." Hurley is the associate vice president of Auxiliary and Business Services at Penn State. Hurley oversees numerous units, including Housing and Food Services, the Bryce Jordan Center, University Park Airport, Penn State Hospitality Services, and the Business Services unit, which includes the Multimedia and Print Center, Procurement Services, and Transportation Services. As an undergraduate student majoring in education at Westminster College in New Wilmington, PA, Hurley realized her passion for higher education and working with college students. She received a master of arts degree in college student personnel from Bowling Green State University in Bowling Green, Ohio. Prior to Penn State, Hurley served as the assistant dean of students at DePauw University in Indiana and the associate director of Residential Life at Ohio University. In 1984, she came to Penn State as the director of Residence Life. During the 1996–1997 academic year, she served as an administrative fellow under the mentorship of Gary C. Schultz, senior vice president for Finance and Business/Treasurer. At one time, she served as the assistant to the vice president for Student Affairs and director of Housing and Residence Life, a joint appointment between the Finance and Business and Student Affairs organizations. She was named assistant vice president for Housing and Residence Life in January 2003 and assumed the Food Services function in January 2005. During 2007 and 2008, Hurley served as the interim vice president for Student Affairs and associate vice president for A&BS. To register, visit HRDC's Online Catalog and type "Hurley" in the keyword search.

On May 17, 2011, from noon until 1:15 p.m. in 431 James M. Elliott Building, Renata Engel will speak on "Leveraging Opportunities: Committee Work and Collaborations as Catalysts for Professional Growth. Engel is associate dean for academic programs in the College of Engineering at Penn State. A member of the Penn State faculty since 1990, she is professor of engineering design, and engineering science and mechanics, and has served as executive director of the Schreyer Institute for Teaching Excellence. Engel earned a bachelor of science degree in engineering science from Penn State and a doctorate in engineering mechanics from the University of South Florida. Engel couples her interest in design and manufacturing with advanced materials to improve manufacturing process or products. She has modeled liquid injection processes, polymer cure kinetics, metal powder compaction and sintering, and has studied novel fiber reinforced polymer composite designs for reinforced concrete and thick composites. For her individual and collaborative contributions to engineering education, she has received several awards, including the University's George W. Atherton Award for Excellence in Teaching, the Penn State Engineering Society’s Outstanding Teaching Award, and the Dow Outstanding Young Faculty Award. Engel was a member of the team that won the 1998 Boeing Outstanding Educator Award and is a Fellow of the American Society for Engineering Education. An active member in the American Society for Engineering Education, Engel has held several leadership positions, including Vice President for Member Affairs. Currently, she is the President-elect of ASEE and a member of the Executive Board. To register, visit HRDC's Online Catalog and type "Engel" in the keyword search.

The program fee for each session is $29 for participants who attend at University Park and $19 for participants who attend via Polycom.

For more information, visit or contact Kerrie Ferchalk at or 814-863-8078.

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Last Updated January 10, 2015