Kathy Swan, current chair of the Missouri Coordinating Board for Higher Education and Local businesswoman, was recently honored to serve as the Faculty-in-Residence for the 21st Century Leadership Academy at the Sue Shear Institute for Women in Public Life at the University of Missouri – St. Louis. Forty-five young women representing every public 4-year university in Missouri were selected by their institutions as Shear Fellows for the week-long event focused on developing leadership skills, building self-confidence and networking.

Topics included smart negotiation skills, financial savvy, voter mobilization and life balance presented by experienced professionals. As a faculty member, Swan reinforced the importance of good leadership values, particularly in public service. “Many of these young women are already serving in leadership roles. My goals were three-fold: 1) understand that all of us will serve in a leadership position with family, work, or community, 2) recognize that leadership is about the person, not the position, and 3) acknowledge that character and integrity are the foundational building blocks for personal leadership.”

Other participants included Supreme Court Judges Mary Rhodes Russell and Patricia Breckenridge, Secretary of State Robin Carnahan, and Illinois Lt. Governor Sheila Simon. Simon delivered the address at the keynote dinner, “Building Your Own Path–So Others Can Follow.”

Shear Fellows representing Southeast Missouri State University were Karissa Anderson (St. Louis), Madalyn Enzmann (St. Louis), Alyssa Frecker (Pocahontas, IL) and Olivia Plumlee (St. Louis).