Masten attends leadership conference
Friday, September 21, 2007
By Tracy Corcoran
Victoria Masten, was the first Oklahoma Christian University woman to
attend the five day National Education of Women, (N.E.W.) Leadership
conference. The conference took place last May.
The N.E.W. Leadership conference is a five-day seminar held on the
campus of The University of Oklahoma in Norman. Sponsored by the Carl
Albert Center of Research, the main goal of the conference is to
encourage women to become more active in politics and to educate them
on the importance of women leaders.
“It is such a great experience because you get to meet face to face
with women who have already done what you want to do. You’re meeting
the women who have made the path just a little bit easier and who have
forged ahead in the political realm,” Masten said.
The conference included diversity and leadership training as well as
informational talks about law school or graduate school. The ladies
heard from lobbyists, lawyers and senators.
“It is so informational and it really gives you a realistic outlook of
women in the work place and politics. You get to spend five days with
people who feel the same way you do,” Masten said. “We were all so
different, but we all have a lot of the same goals.”
The 30 women attending the conference were able to meet and talk to
numerous women leaders from Oklahoma including Cindy Rosenthal, Mayor
of Norman; Lieutenant Governor, Jari Askins; Giovanni Perry, lawyer and
servant to Governor Henry on his Advisory Council on Latin American and
Hispanic Affairs; and Julie Daniels, former mayor of Bartlesville and
City Council member.
Cami Agan, professor of language and literature, recommended Masten to
attend the conference for her unique social skills and her leadership
“Her interpersonal skills are extremely honed. She’s able to talk not
only to majors and not only in the class about intellectual issues, but
she’s also, for example, able to engage a person in an airport line,”
Agan said. “She can look them in the eye, shake their hand, introduce
herself and make them feel instantly comfortable.”
The competitive application process includes three to four essays,
writing a personal background and two letters of recommendation.
“It’s a real honor to be accepted,” Agan said. “There were only 30
[chosen] out of the entire state, and she was one of them. That tells
me that the review of the application was extremely rigorous.”
One important thing Masten learned at the conference was how great the potential impact of women in political roles can be.
“I learned the value of women leadership and that even though women
have made a lot of progress, it’s still a struggle and something that’s
worth fighting for,” Masten said.
The N.E.W. Leadership conference not only educated Masten, but also
created networking opportunities. She is still in contact with the
leaders she met at the conference. The conference also gave Masten an
advantage in her future career because it is recognized as something of
Numerous networking opportunities now are available for Masten as a result of the conference.
While at the conference, Masten acquired new goals and was encouraged further to achieve her old ones.
“It’s given me a different perspective, and it really empowered me to
want to get out into the world, and it gave me strength to know that I
can reach my goals. It gave me new goals, too,” Masten said. “I never
thought about going into elective positions until I went to the
“I think in the way she speaks to people and the way she treats
other people, she could only represent OC well. Her enthusiasm is
really infectious, and I think it’s my hope that people who meet her
will associate that kind of enthusiasm with our department and with
OC,” Agan said.
Masten encourages any woman who would one day like to be a political
leader to attend the N.E.W. Leadership conference. She would love to
see more women from Oklahoma Christian represented there.
“I really hope that her success will encourage other women to ask
about this conference or to take it seriously when their professor asks
them if they’re interested in going,” Agan said.