IWU Alumnae to Discuss Career Experiences in Panel Presentation

January 25, 2006

BLOOMINGTON, Ill. -  "Working Women: Emerging Roles, Evolving Responsibilities and Changing Career Paths" will be the theme of a program featuring Illinois Wesleyan University alumnae from several decades to be held at 12 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 3, in the Main Lounge of Memorial Center (104 E. University St., Bloomington).

The panel presentation, which will be followed by small group discussions with each panelist, is open to the public and is co-sponsored by the IWU Career Center and Eta Chapter of Sigma Kappa Sorority, which is celebrating its 100th anniversary Feb. 3-5.  Attendees are welcome to bring lunches to the program.

The panelists represent a broad range of careers, from arts to medicine to business to education, and are returning to the IWU campus from coast to coast, Boston to California.  They also represent the spectrum of personal situations -- single, married, remarried; children, grandchildren, no children -- and different paths to their current careers.

"We're going to be talking about the reality of having a career today with a special emphasis on working women, including the barriers that no longer exist, the new challenges that have arisen, and how 'career paths' tend to be much more fluid than in the past," said Kathleen Larey Lewton, class of '70, and chairman of the program.

"The program will be helpful to students who have already chosen a career field and want to know what they will encounter on the job, but also to students who are still considering career options," Lewton said, "because we can provide insights on what kind of preparation is helpful."

In addition to Lewton, a former journalist and public relations executive who now has her own consulting practice in the New York City area, panelists include:

  • Shelley Weege, IWU '73, LaJolla Calif., a former drama major who is now a photographer and arts educator teaching "literacy through art" to children of migrant workers and refugees
  • Ann Marie Gentry, IWU '84, vice president for financial management for the Bloomington region of Main Street Bank and Trust;
  • Karen Zander, R.N., M.S.N. , IWU '70, principal and co-owner of The Center for Case Management, an international health care consulting company based in South Natick, Mass. that is dedicated to the development of tools, roles, and systems for managing care toward best-practice outcomes;
  • Tara Z. Bennett, M.D., IWU '86, an obstetrician-gynecologist practicing in Springfield, Ill.;
  • Mandy Watson, IWU '01, associate attorney with Quinn, Johnson, Henderson and Pretorius in Peoria;
  • Nicole L. Sommer, M.D., IWU '92, a plastic surgeon and assistant professor at the Southern Illinois University School of Medicine in Springfield

For additional information about the program, contact Ann Harding, assistant director of the Career Center and internship coordinator at (309)556-3326 or at aharding@iwu.edu.

Contact: Kathy Lewton, (917) 734-5376