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Happy International Women's Day!

Johnson & Wales University was founded by Mary Wales & Gertrude Johnson in 1914, years before women were given the right to vote. On International Women's Day, we honor our past and celebrate our future with these wise words from female leaders at JWU.

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1. Being a leader entails a lot of skills, but the most important is empathy.

"Being a leader entails a lot of skills, but the most important is empathy. In order to lead, one must be able to truly understand and respect others. Without that, how can decisions be fair? I think women posses this quality ten fold! I am proud to be a part of an institution that has so many women leaders and that was founded by two women. That inspires me every day. It is quite remarkable! I worked very hard to be where I am. Working with young women design students and watching them grow reinforces the notion that with gumption and fortitude—women can do anything they believe in!" - Deana Marzocchi, Chairperson/Associate Professor, School of Engineering & Design, JWU Providence

2. These Cats are killin it in the classroom!

"255 young women participate in Varsity Athletics at Johnson & Wales University. Together they have a cumulative GPA of 3.37, 142 out of 255, or 56% are on the Dean’s List, 45 posted a 4.0 this term. These Cats are killin' it in the classroom!" - Mary E. Graf, Associate Dean of Athletics, JWU Providence

3. Don’t accept negativity and keep after your dreams.

"After college graduation, I applied for a job as a news reporter and was told point blank that I would never make it and to try and find something else to pursue. Feeling broken, I drove home and made a u-turn at a local radio station where they gave me the start I needed, as an intern, then an on-air personality. I eventually switched back to TV and applied for a position at another station and got the job, behind the scenes as a producer. I worked my way up the ladder, and worked at various stations in different cities, and landed a job as a reporter at WBTV in my hometown of Charlotte, the 24th largest TV market in the U.S. Don’t accept negativity and keep after your dreams." - Melinda Law, Director of Communications & Media Relations, JWU Charlotte

4. Gertrude and Mary stand at the stern of our university’s ship and guide us forward with persistence. I am honored to stand with them.

"Leadership is not always about standing in front, the back is a solid place to lead from. There you can see progress , make changes as needed, fight if necessary. Gertrude and Mary stand at the stern of our university’s ship and guide us forward with persistence. I am honored to stand with them." -Merrie W. Valliant M.L.I.S., Technical Services Librarian, JWU Denver

5. Supporting the development and career advancement of others through my various roles in 36 years has been the cornerstone of my leadership style.

"Eighty-two years after the founding of Johnson & Wales by two women, the first woman vice president was named! Supporting the development and career advancement of others through my various roles in 36 years has been the cornerstone of my leadership style. In turn, this provided me the opportunity to grow personally and professionally, building many collaborative relationships across our university system, and supporting many successful projects for JWU. " - Robin Krakowsky, Ed.D., Dean of Executive Programs, JWU Denver

6. I am a living testimony of how education, hard work, and opportunity will pay off for you if you get out of your own way.

"Female students often ask me about my pathway to leadership as they are carving out their own path themselves. I share with them that I am a living testimony of how education, hard work, and opportunity will pay off for you if you get out of your own way. As an immigrant minority female predicted to fail, I have experienced many covert and overt stereotypes in my personal and professional life. I started off my career in the highly competitive world of Fashion and International Business transitioning my way into the traditionally white male dominated world of academia. I could have been deterred, but when failure is not an option or part of your vernacular, success will ultimately triumph if you focus on the end game – providing excellent service while always striving to do the right thing." - Michelle Garcia, Dean of Academics, JWU North Miami

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