GEN SHE Conference

The first annual KUCD GEN SHE (Generation She) Conference was held on Saturday, June 29th in the Kutztown University Sharadin Arts building. This event was created to support and connect all female Kutztown University Communication Design alumni on their career journeys. A day of resources, workshops and inspiration was planned to help attendees discover and plan their next move. Whether these women had been out of school for one year or 40 they were able to learn something valuable to take home with them. Topics throughout the day included goal setting, creative re-inspiration, self-care, finances and negotiation and more.

Professor Ann Lemon and Professor Summer Doll-Myers welcomed attendees spoke about how this event came to be a reality. Keynote speaker and KUCD alumnae, Kelly Whalen kicked off the day reminding us we need to be authentic and left us all with a sense of self-worth and confidence. Next up was Dr. Brandi Baldwin who spoke about finances. Not only did she capture the attention of the crowd with her hysterical stories she reminded us of our worth­–good design doesn’t come cheap. Christopher O’Reilly lead the third session of the day walking us through what it means to truly be in the moment and to give mindfulness a try. Not all stress is bad but how we react to stress is something all creatives should be aware of. Breathe in…and breathe out. Falling a bit behind schedule, that is bound to happen with such awesome speakers, lunch was combined with the 3 breakout sessions. Some had their portfolios reviewed to receive tips from KUCD professors, others networked and gained tips on entrepreneurship, while another group learned about earning an MFA in order to someday teach. Ready to put the inspiration on paper, literally, Professor Dannell Macilwreath and Professor Vicki Meloney led the group in a creative session. Staying inspired is a big part of working in this field. Our last session was led by KUCD alumnae, Jess Pacheco. She took us all through various improv exercises followed by short improv skits. Watching these women get to know each other and come out of their comfort zones was priceless. Throughout the day the Miller Gallery was open which featured the “Best of” this year’s graduates in Communication Design, Fine Art, Crafts and Art Education. Jordan Schnur, recent KUCD graduate and photographer was available between sessions to take headshots. There were of course snack and coffee breaks along the way but right before we parted after closing remarks we were able to get attendees to fill out a quick survey so we know what they loved and what we could do better next time. After we all said our goodbyes on campus a small group continued the networking at Saucony Creek Brewery. Cheers to a successful first KUCD GEN SHE conference.

So many great events all in one place. Also, a great way to network with people you haven’t met.

Great speakers, well organized! Loved the time for self-reflection.

This was such a wonderful day. So informative yet fun and relaxing.

So much stuff in one day! Bravo! I will def. attend again in the future.

This was incredible and even better than expected. Such a great day of thought for women at all stages of life.

Thank you for keeping KUCD such a great community!

Thank you so much for taking time to put this together. I had an amazing time and felt like I grew as a creative woman.

Special thanks to

President Hawkinson, Dr. Zayitz, Dean Kiec

Kaleigh Moran (designed logo / event graphics & student helper)

Kathy Traylor

KUCD faculty (Karen Kresge, Kate Clair, Denise Bosler, Vicki Meloney, Dannell MacIlwraith)

Kutztown University Foundation

Justin Shenk at Business Link

Student Helpers, Keri Stefkovich, Rachel Conville, Julia Conville, Fiona Kane-Salafia

All our speakers and attendees!