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Women’s Leadership Breakfast 2012: Connecting. Networking. Celebrating Success.

Hampton Roads business and community leaders gathered on May 2 to celebrate 10 years of women’s leadership at Tidewater Community College. A highlight event for the Women’s Center, the Women’s Leadership Breakfast included an update from the center’s Network for Empowering Women Students (N.E.W.S.) and the work they do encouraging students to reach career goals.

Chair Peggy Layne says, “N.E.W.S. members come from all professional areas, and together we use our personal networks to connect students with leaders in the community to enhance career preparation.”

Guest speaker Deborah DiCroce, president emerita of TCC, helped establish the annual breakfast in 2002. She spoke about choices and priorities for women, a personal focus for her as she began her “second act” as president and CEO of the Hampton Roads Community Foundation in March of this year.

The event also included the presentation of the 2012 Mary Pat Liggio Student Leadership Award to Hajirah Hunter. Hunter, an engineering major, was attracted to the field thanks to her father, who has worked as an engineer for several decades.“I’ve always enjoyed math and science and have learned so much during my time at TCC,” she says.

Hunter served as a supplemental instructor for the Spatial Cognition program, launched in 2011 to help women increase their ability to visualize moving objects in 3-D, a needed skill for engineering majors. “I enjoyed helping other students and increasing my leadership skills,” Hunter adds. Hunter plans to continue her studies at Virginia Tech or University of Southern California.

Linda Samuels, a member of N.E.W.S. and head of the selection committee for this year’s scholarship award notes, “We had many smart women nominated for this award and we are proud of all them.”