The Dudley T. Dougherty Foundation

Mount Saint Mary's University Women's Leadership Program

Grant Information
Categories Environment
Location United States
Cycle Year 2016
Organization Information
Organization Name (provided by applicant) Mount Saint Mary's University
Organization Name (provided by automatic EIN validation)
Contact Information
Contact Name Dr. Stephanie cubba, vice president for institutional advancement
Phone 2134772899
10 Chester Place
Los Angeles
Additional Information
Used for The Women’s Leadership Program at Mount Saint Mary’s University trains women to build leadership skills and a strong sense of social responsibility and civic participation that lasts a lifetime. One key component of that program is participation in the Public Leadership Education Network (PLEN), the only national organization with the sole focus of preparing college women for leadership positions in public policy. A $10,000 grant from the Dudley T. Dougherty Foundation will support the participation of approximately 20 MSMU students in PLEN this year, and contribute to the training of the next generation of women public policy leaders.
Benefits Women’s Leadership at Mount Saint Mary’s is a vital part of the University’s mission to provide superior education enhanced by an emphasis on building leadership skills and fostering a spirit to serve others. MSMU’s students are ethnically diverse, and most are first-generation college students from economically disadvantaged areas in the greater Los Angeles region. By building their leadership capacity and strengthening their sense of social responsibility, we can empower them to make a significant difference in their communities and the world as they enter their chosen professions in healthcare, education, business, politics, social services, and many others.
Proposal Description Mount Saint Mary’s University (MSMU) has been a leader in women’s education since its founding in 1925 by the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet, and is the only Catholic women’s college west of the Mississippi River. Since 1975, the Women’s Leadership Program has fostered personal leadership and team-building skills that students can put to work in their communities for the common good.

The Women’s Leadership Program has continued to develop over the past 41 years to provide opportunities for every MSMU student to grow as a leader. At its core is our intensive Leadership Scholar Program, which selects first- and second-year students who are dedicated to making positive contributions to their campus, their community, and personal development through their involvement, service, and leadership activities. Leadership Scholars serve as campus role models for academic success and ethical social behavior during their four years at the Mount, supported by close peer relationships with their cohort and staff mentors.

Students do not need to participate in the Leadership Scholar Program to grow as leaders at MSMU, however. As part of MSMU’s 2013-2018 Strategic Plan, the Women’s Leadership Program is launching new initiatives to better coordinate campus leadership opportunities as well as encourage civic engagement with local communities and the world. Mount Leads is an initiative launched for the 2016-2017 school year that aims to provide students with a comprehensive understanding and common language of leadership that helps them connect their leadership activities at the Mount (both academic and co-curricular) with their lives after graduation. Students are led to explore four core principles of leadership—awareness of self/personal wellness, ethical decision making and integrity, critical thinking and communication skills, and active citizenship—and develop a co-curricular engagement plan that complements their academic program. Through Mount Leads, each MSMU student can build awareness of the many ways that their curricular and co-curricular experiences give them leadership skills, and better equip them to articulate those skills as they pursue employment and grow in their professional and personal lives.

One very powerful co-curricular experience available to Mount students that builds their knowledge of how to be a leader for change is the Public Leadership Education Network (PLEN). For 35 years, PLEN has brought thousands of women from across the country to Washington, D.C., to explore careers in public policy and connect with women leaders. The Mount has been a member of the PLEN consortium for over 20 years, and is one of the most active participants. Every year, MSMU awards scholarships for undergraduate students to attend PLEN seminars, which provide them new knowledge about how policy is made and increased confidence in their ability to enter public policy careers. Last year, MSMU sent 16 students to PLEN seminars in Washington, and it was such a valuable experience for them that we hope to send 20 this year. The seminars this year are Women, Law and Legal Advocacy; Women in Public Policy; Women, Business and Policy; Women Unlocking Nonprofits; and Women in Global Policy. At these events, our talented emerging leaders connect with women leaders in the legislative, executive, and judicial branches; government agencies; nonprofit organizations, and the private sector.

A $10,000 grant from the Dudley T. Dougherty Foundation to support our students’ participation in the PLEN seminars would be an important contribution to building our students’ awareness of the many ways in which they can make a difference in the world. We are deeply grateful for the past support the Dudley T. Dougherty Foundation has provided for the Women’s Leadership Program at Mount Saint Mary’s, and we appreciate your confidence and investment in our students.