The COVID-19 crisis has amplified many inequities and issues for women in their workplaces, communities and families. It has also been a time when we have seen extraordinary leadership and growth in the understanding of what skills are needed to address them. In conjunction with the Anne Welsh McNulty Institute for Women's Leadership, the College of Professional Studies is pleased to present the Women’s Leadership Development Series, featuring virtual panels and workshops focused on topics most critical for women in these challenging times.

The free webinar panels provide a high-level view of leadership—focused on how the panelists have acted and made decisions based on their core values as leaders in their communities or organizations. The workshops focus on strategies and tools to develop skills related to each panel discussion, but it is not a requirement to attend the webinar session.

Attendees of all four webinar panels and workshops are eligible to receive a 10% discount on the Women's Leadership Development Certificate program, launching Fall 2021.



“Leading in a Time of Crisis”, features women leaders who faced critical issues in their industries or communities as a result of the COVID crisis. Participants will gain insights, tips, and skills to enhance their leadership development, using the lens of leading in a crisis. The focus will be on communication, decision-making, and negotiation skills, personal financial management as well as self-care.

The impressive line-up of panelists include:

Full panelist bios and photos can be found here.

Moderator: Dr. Terri Boyer '95 CLAS, Founding Director, Anne Welsh McNulty Institute for Women’s Leadership  


Facilitator: Kathleen Oswald, PhD, Adjunct Instructor, Department of Communications, Villanova University

Hone your leadership skills with tools and strategies for authentic communication and negotiation—an absolute necessity in a time of crisis. Participants will explore how to remain true to one’s own goals and values as a leader, how to ask the right questions, and use information gained as the basis for negotiations.

Please note that seats in the workshop are limited.




Navigating Work and Life in a Global Pandemic features women leaders in organizations and industries particularly impacted by the quarantine from a work-life perspective.

Moderator:  Heather Cluley, PhD, Associate Director and Assistant Professor of the Human Resource Development Program at Villanova University

Panelists include:

  • Donna Havens, PhD, Dean of the Fitzpatrick College of Nursing at Villanova, which launched a study on the impacts of the crisis on essential healthcare workers.
  • Nina Tinari, President of the Schulson Collective, a restaurant group in Philadelphia, which committed to providing benefits and meals to furloughed employees when the restaurants were unable to be open.
  • Captain Julia O’Brien, USMC, Operations Officer at the Marine for Life Network, which offers Marines and family members in transition connections to employment, education, and other Veteran and community resources.
  • Kim Fraites-Dow, CEO of Girl Scouts of Eastern Pennsylvania, which had to pivot to virtual delivery of programs and services that many families rely on for summer education.
  • Coleen Finney-Burke '90 ME, '99 MBA, Sr. Director, Intellectual Property Protection & Licensing, The Boeing Company. Coleen has worked for The Boeing Company for close to 30 years holding positions in engineering, operations, finance, project management, business development and strategy.

Full panelist bios and photos can be found here.

This program is jointly provided by the Anne Welsh McNulty Institute for Women's Leadership, the College of Professional Studies and the M. Louise Fitzpatrick College of Nursing  at Villanova University.

Note: This webinar counts for 1.5 nursing contact hours and .1 continuing education units (CEU's).

The M. Louise Fitzpatrick College of Nursing is accredited as a provider of continuing nursing education by the American Nurses Credentialing Center Commission on Accreditation. The criteria for awarding contact hours include: attendance at the entire program and completion/submission of the program evaluation. Participants will be awarded 1.5 free contact hours for participation in this program. No conflicts of interest exist for any individual in a position to control the content of this educational activity.



Facilitator: Dr. Terri Boyer, Founding Director, Anne Welsh McNulty Institute for Women’s Leadership

Explore work and life issues through the lens of gender and leadership. Build your personal Work-Life Influences model, analyze how you spend your time and what you value, and gain strategies to anticipate and address conflicts as they arise, including approaches to requesting more flexibility in your work schedule.

Please note that seats in the workshop are limited.

Note: This workshop counts for 2.0 nursing contact hours and .2 continuing education units (CEU's).



Webinar recording: Financial Management in Times of Crisis

Managing our personal finances is important to helping us achieve our goals, and it is especially so in a time of global crisis. This panel features women leaders who will discuss their experiences and share practical tips to achieve financial independence.

Panelists include:

Christina Larson Kelly, Principal, Larson Financial Planning, Inc.
Amanda Lawrence, Vice President of Community Impact, Trident United Way
Meredith Okenquist, Career Transitions Coach, Villanova University

Moderator:  Joyce Russell, PhD., Helen and William O'Toole Dean of the Villanova School of Business

Full panelist bios and photos can be found here.


Workshop Recording: Strategies and Tools for Financial Management in Challenging Times

Facilitator: Christina Larson Kelly ’74 BSN, MSN, Principal, Larson Financial Planning, LLC

Effectively managing our personal finances can lead to greater independence. Financial independence gives us the opportunity to have choices in both lifestyle and careers. Did you know you will spend 50% of your income on just 5 major purchases? Do you know how to make the right choices? Through humorous anecdotal stories combined with very practical advice, come learn strategies for financial stability and independence through life’s ups and downs.

Please note that seats in the workshop are limited.



Webinar Recording: Creating a Smart Network Webinar, 3/10/21

“Creating a Smart Network” features women leaders whose stories show the importance of having a strong and diverse network of connections to achieve one’s leadership goals. Panelists will discuss formal and informal professional networks, securing mentors and sponsors, and building partnerships to achieve their personal and professional goals.


Kate Waters, Senior Vice President- Financial Advisor at Morgan Stanley
Scarlett DeBease, Founder, Scarlett Image
Deneene Brockington, MBA, Program Manager, Strategic Partnerships, UPMC Health
Mia Jung, Partner, Oxeon Partners

Moderator: Jane Mullany, Founder and Principal, JMM Consulting LLC

Full panelist bios and photos can be found here. 


Workshop Recording: Tools and Strategies for Creating a Smart Network, March 24

Facilitators: Michele Gianforcaro ’89, Villanova School of Business and Dr. Terri Boyer, ’95, Founding Director, Anne Welsh McNulty Institute for Women’s Leadership

Dive into Network Science to build a better, smarter network. This interactive session will help you analyze and strategically craft your professional network. We’ll also tackle the critical-- and different-- roles of mentors, sponsors, and advocates in your network to help you get ahead.

Please note that seats in the workshop are limited.