AcademyWomen Symposium to Offer Opportunities for Mentoring, Professional Development

Story Number: NNS100915-17Release Date: 9/15/2010 4:30:00 PM
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By Lt. Laura K. Stegherr, Diversity Directorate Public Affairs

WASHINGTON (NNS) -- AcademyWomen, a nonprofit organization dedicated to the mentoring and professional development of military women, will hold their 7th annual Fall Leadership Symposium and Career Workshop at the Women in Military Service for America Memorial in Arlington, Va., Sept. 24-26.

"Our annual career workshop and symposium provide a rare opportunity for current, future and former female military officers to come together in a professional, supportive and inspiring setting where we benefit from one another's experiences and wisdom," said Susan Feland, president of AcademyWomen. "We also give women the opportunity to focus on the one thing they often don't take enough time for - themselves."

With a theme of "Coming to the Edge: Finding Your Wings," the conference aims to motivate attendees to move beyond the boundaries of their comfort zones and to propel them further in their professional, personal and emotional growth by overcoming challenges.

Symposium panels will include such topics as women and war, the role of media in shaping perceptions of military women, reinventing wellness for women veterans, and updates on women's policy among the services. There will also be a meet and greet session with flag and general officers and a remembrance ceremony in honor of women fallen in combat throughout the ages.

Confirmed keynote and panelist speakers include Air Force Maj. Gen. Susan Helms, former astronaut; retired Army Col. Grethe Cammermeyer, the inspiration for the film "Serving in Silence,"and Rear Adm. Barry Bruner, who will discuss the topic of integrating women into submarines.

Prior to the start of the symposium on Sept. 24, AcademyWomen will also host a full-day Career Coaching Workshop designed to assist women who are making career transitions after their military obligation, women who are considering a career change, and women who are interested in improving their career success.

"Whether you are a woman transitioning from the military, reentering the workforce, looking for a way to boost your career, or looking for a change, the Career Workshop offers professional coaches, career experts, representatives from government, business, academia, and the nonprofit sector to assist with your professional growth," said Feland.

Feland also explained that the symposium can provide opportunities for sharing the unique roles women fulfill in the armed forces, while allowing for valuable networking and mentoring experiences.

"How many professional communities of women can say that most of their members have run with a rifle in the rain, done push-ups to exhaustion, led men and women through fear and exhaustion, worked in places the average American cannot even find on the map, or even chosen a profession that only few will ever understand? The community of AcademyWomen is unique and special," Feland said.

"We take the time at the AcademyWomen Career Workshop and Symposium to better understand ourselves, consider the issues we face as a community, and build a network of sisters, mentors and resources to pave a future path of success," continued Feland.

While the main mission of AcademyWomen is to support the professional and personal growth of women from the nation's officer development programs, the symposium program can benefit service men and women of all ranks, and from any accession source.

For more information and to register visit or contact Stefanie Goebel at

For more news from Chief of Naval Personnel - Diversity Directorate, visit

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