Women's Symposium

Wednesday, April 7, 2021 | All Students Grades 9-12

The theme of this year’s Women’s Symposium is “Journeys.” By showcasing the lives of select alumnae, we will demonstrate the rich variety of paths our lives and careers can take and the incredible impact we can have on others and our communities. How do students take their passions, infused with the charisms of the Sisters, and create their individual journeys?

The Symposium features keynote speaker Sister Barbara Moore. Sister Barbara is an inspiration whose life has been an incredible journey. In 1955, she became the first African American to join the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet and is a founding member of the National Black Sisters Conference. In addition, Sister Barbara pursued a career in nursing which included earning a Ph.D. in higher education administration and becoming a nursing instructor and eventually chair of Avila University’s nursing department.

From her march for voting rights in Selma, Alabama, to her current work helping African American and African women in Uganda, Sister Barbara continues to demonstrate how one’s journey through life can have a profound impact on others. 

Additionally, students will hear from recent graduates who are well on their way to exciting careers in a variety of fields. We will also present the Distinguished Alumna award followed by an activity with the DeBruce Foundation that will give students opportunities to contemplate their own futures.

Artwork created by Josephine Knopke '22


Advisory -  8:30-10:00 a.m.

  • 8:30-8:40 -  Announcements and Prayer
  • 8:40-8:50 - Welcoming remarks by Dr. Siabhan May-Washington
  • 8:50-9:00 - Meditation and Movement with Andrea Skowronek
  • 9:00-10:00 Introduction of Keynote Speaker & Keynote Address/Conversation: Sr. Barbara Moore and student moderators by Dr. Mandi Sonnenberg and Bri Walker

Period 3 - 10:05-11:05 a.m. - Young Alumnae Panel in conversation with Shana Prentiss and student moderator

Period 4 - 11:10-11:50 - DeBruce Foundation Agilities Assessment  

  • The DeBruce Foundation will facilitate this activity virtually. Students will take an online assessment of their interests and needed skills and reflect on the results

Advisory/Lunch  11:55 a.m.-12:40 p.m.

Period 5 - 12:45-1:15 p.m.

  • Distinguished Alumna Speaker: Suzanne Hoag Johnson, Class of 1970
    introduced by Paula Holmquist

Period 7 - 1:20 - 2:25

  • DeBruce Foundation’s Draw Your Future activity. DeBruce will facilitate students in an activity designed to graphically illustrate their future aspirations using the information revealed from their agility assessments.

Period 8  2:30-3:00- Campus Ministry

  • This synthesis and closing session will challenge attendees to review the day, reflect on what they experienced, and share ways in which they are going to take action.

If you have any questions for Sister Barbara, the Young Alumnae Panel, or Suzanne, please click the button below by Monday, April 5.

About Keynote Speaker Sister Barbara Moore

Sister Barbara was the first African American to enter the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet in 1955. In addition, she is a founding member of the National Black Sisters Conference. Sister Barbara earned her BSN in nursing from Avila University, her master’s degree from the University of California San Francisco, and a Ph.D. in higher education administration in Seattle. She became a nursing instructor and eventually chair of Avila’s nursing department.

From her march for voting rights in Selma, AL, to her current work in retirement to help African-American and African women in Uganda, Sister Barbara continues to be a guiding force for women of color.  We are greatly honored that she endorses and lends her name to STA’s scholarship program for black students.

Rose Dillon, Class of 2005 - Project manager at The Chemours Company

Rose Dillon earned her degree from Drexel University in 2010, is a chemical engineer by training and a project manager by trade. She currently works at The Chemours Company, which makes several chemical products that are in items you use every day, like Teflon and Freon. She is an active member of several neighborhood organizing groups, spending lots of time knocking on neighbors' doors (or, during COVID, mailing postcards and making phone calls) to promote voter engagement. She lives in Philadelphia with her wife and more animals than are strictly necessary. 

Juana Summers, Class of 2006 - Political reporter for NPR covering demographics and culture

Juana Summers is a political reporter for NPR covering demographics and culture. She has covered politics since 2010 for publications including Politico, CNN and The Associated Press. She got her start in public radio at KBIA in Columbia, Missouri, and also previously covered Congress for NPR.

She appears regularly on television and radio outlets to discuss national politics. In 2016, Summers was a fellow at Georgetown University's Institute of Politics and Public Service. Sheis also a competitive pinball player and sits on the board of the International Flipper Pinball Association (IFPA), the governing body for competitive pinball events around the world.

She is a graduate of the Missouri School of Journalism and a native of Kansas City, Missouri.

JoEllen Redlingshafer, Class of 2009 - television comedy writer

JoEllen Redlingshafer is a television comedy writer, most recently for “Awkwafina is Nora From Queens” (Comedy Central/ HBO Max), and “Doogie Kamealoha, MD” (Disney Plus). Redlingshafer's writing break came when she wrote the critically acclaimed season 3 premiere episode of “Big Mouth” (Netflix). JoEllen has been a close collaborator of comedians John Mulaney and Nick Kroll, producing recent work including “John Mulaney and the Sack Lunch Bunch” (Netflix), “Kid Gorgeous” (Netflix) and “Oh, Hello on Broadway” (Netflix and stage play).  She loves STA and would like to thank Ms. Prentiss for giving her her first (and favorite) writing gig, “Like a Cop Car (Student Production)!” JoEllen would also like to take this opportunity to apologize to the 2005-2009 STA administration for any and all shenanigans.

Morgan Said, Class of 2011 - Deputy Chief Of Staff at City of Kansas City, MO

Morgan Said serves in Mayor Lucas’s office as Deputy Chief Of Staff at the City of Kansas City, Missouri. Among Morgan’s duties are ensuring the accuracy, effectiveness, and consistency of promoting the key mayoral priorities and messaging. She honed her communications skills in Washington, D.C., as Press Secretary for U.S. Senator Jerry Moran.