Bethany College Panel Discusses Women’s Roles

Photo Provided Judy Caves, a guidance counselor for the Seton LaSalle High School in Mt. Lebanon, Pa., speaks to students at Bethany College Saturday.

BETHANY — Bethany College held a panel Saturday titled “Pearls of Wisdom,” where four accomplished women spoke to current female students about leadership and finding a way with whatever professional goal they hold.

The event belonged to the school’s fourth annual Ann Wilkin Trombadore Women and Leadership Weekend. Scarlett Foster, a member of Bethany College’s Board of Trustees, personally sponsored it. She said women generally “take a back seat” in society because they have not been told they are as valuable as men.

“We heard that Madeleine Albright quote earlier. ‘There’s a special place in hell for women who don’t help each other,'” Foster said. “I agree with it. I refuse to let that happen.”

The panelists included Judy Caves, a guidance counselor for the Seton LaSalle High School in Mt. Lebanon, Pa.; Liz Chewning, eCommerce manager for Lexmark; Lt. Commander Cara Halldin, supervisory team leader and epidemiologist for the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; and Jill Bachinski, school psychologist for Brooke County Schools.

All are Bethany College alumnae.

Bachinski said she felt very lucky to attend college, so she took advantage of every opportunity it provided.

“I never skipped class,” she said. “My mom taught me to never rely on anyone else for anything.”

She said two important things to possess as a professional and a leader are time management skills and an awareness of commitments. She said as the school psychologist for Brooke County public schools, she feels her particular commitment is one of broad impact.

“It’s a commitment to the kids, a commitment to my boss, a commitment to my job, a commitment to the county,” Bachinski said.

The panel also focused on the role of mentors in the lives of young professionals and students.

The four on stage offered their assistance to anyone in the audience needing guidance.

Gabrielle Goudy, a Bethany College senior, said she has a mentor, someone she knows through her sorority. She said the women and leadership weekend is valuable because it shows her those who’ve come before her, and it provides a significant opportunity to network.

Foster echoed this.

She said the conference is the perfect opportunity to explore the depths of Bethany College’s alumni, while positioning both graduates and current students into a space of recognition. It’s a place where one can see the other and think about either what’s to come or where to begin.

“There’s a joy in knowing where they are and what’s ahead of them,” Foster said.

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