Siena started off the spring season with a celebration of women on a brisk Saturday morning. An Awesome Women’s Brunch, hosted by Siena’s Sr. Thea Bowman Center for Women, invited truly phenomenal women from all over campus to engage with one another, growing in sisterhood and as individuals. Award-winning columnist Diane Cameron was the star of the show as she shared with the guests how to seek out mentors and self-care on their quests to succeeding.
Director of the Sr. Thea Bowman Center for Women, Beth DeAngelis, opened the event with the assurance that a transformative morning was in store. Guests were assigned tables in order to ensure that each group was made up of both students and older mentors. Diane Cameron was introduced to the stage and the group erupted in applause. Cameron has authored three published books, “Looking for Signs: Essays and Columns,” “Out of the Woods: A Woman’s Guide to Long-Term Recovery” and, most recently published in 2016, “Never Leave Your Dead: A True Story of War Trauma, Murder, and Madness.” Her work focuses on spirituality as well as self-help and utilizing the social perspective.
Cameron’s discussion honed in on the ways women can grow into the person they wish to become. She shared her struggles in finding her identity as a writer as it was a career she always secretly wanted but neglected. After hearing a woman proclaim that she was a writer with nothing published, Cameron was blinded by jealousy and anger as she longed for the ability to say she was an author as well. With the help of mentors along her way, Cameron was eventually able to channel her feelings of envy towards her hidden passion. She expressed the importance of finding a mentor in order to inspire one to not only come to terms with their dreams, but to create a plan in achieving them. In addition to finding an effective mentor, Cameron emphasized that boredom is key in a person’s self-improvement process. She elaborated that while a person is bored, they are freeing room in their mind to think creatively.
After Cameron received her applause for her words of empowerment and enlightenment, guests comprised a list of 10 pearls of wisdom toward success. Each group talked about topics such as how they manage stress, where they are flawed in their growth, and what their ultimate goals were for improvement. Both the older mentors and students were able to give one another advice on how to manage their successes and failures in a positive manner. They were then welcomed to shared one statement, or pearl, to be recorded in collection with the other groups. In the end, guests left the event with a list of inspiration that embodied their own voices.
The Sr. Thea Bowman Center for Women holds a commitment in “building a world that is more just, peaceable and humane by providing advocacy, programming and service opportunities which promote social justice, gender equity and the development of women” and the Awesome Women’s Brunch promoted just that. The event served as a community atmosphere in which women could reflect on their own developments and journeys while simultaneously helping others in doing the same. Other events hosted by the Women’s center here on campus include Roots Cafe every Wednesday from 12 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. in Massry Dining Hall. More of their upcoming events can be found on the Sr. Thea Bowman Women’s Center at Siena College Facebook page as well as the @sienawomencenter Instagram account.