2018 Mississippi N.E.W. Leadership Participants

Program Overview
The seventh annual Mississippi N.E.W. Leadership program will be from May 19-24, 2019, on the campus of Mississippi University for Women (MUW).

The Stennis Center for Public Service and MUW presented the first Mississippi N.E.W. Leadership program in 2013. National Education for Women’s Leadership (NEW Leadership) was developed in the 1990s by the Center for American Women and Politics (CAWP) at Rutgers University to educate and encourage the next generation of women leaders. NEW Leadership stresses political participation as a way to make a difference in a community and teaches concrete skills needed to be politically effective. The NEW Leadership program now operates on 19 college campuses across America.

The program brings together female college students from public and private universities as well as community colleges in the state. These young women examine the value that women bring to leadership positions in government and are encouraged to pursue leadership opportunities in government. Participants learn about women in politics, women’s pathways to power, obstacles to women’s leadership, attitudes toward women leaders, and strategies to encourage full participation and representation of women in political leadership.

The goal of Mississippi N.E.W. Leadership is to educate and inspire a new generation of women to enter public life. Mississippi N.E.W. Leadership teaches students to recognize the value of civic engagement and the importance of having women in positions of political leadership. Mississippi N.E.W. Leadership will create opportunities for college women to prepare for roles in public leadership and help them develop the skills and confidence necessary to join the next generation of public leaders.

Program Details
In practice, Mississippi N.E.W. Leadership is an intensive five-day residential program during which students hear from women in a variety of roles in the public arena, learn about politics and policy-making and women’s political participation, explore ideas about leadership, and participate in hands-on skills-building exercises. The program uses a variety of pedagogical techniques, including small and large group discussions, panel sessions with women leaders, interactive workshops and student-driven group projects. Students are required to live in a residence hall at MUW and may receive two hours of college credit in leadership for attending, which can be transferred to their institution. Living together Monday through Friday builds a sense of esprit de corps among the group and encourages a collegial, and often intense, interaction among a very diverse group of students.

Mississippi N.E.W. Leadership also has residential faculty (termed Faculty in Residence, or FIRs), who are women political leaders who agree to stay in the residence halls with the students for the duration of the program. This allows for an intensive learning and mentoring experience, not only among the students but between students and women leaders. The learning experience extends beyond the formal sessions as conversations continue over meals and back in the residence halls, where students can share ideas, challenge opinions they heard during the day, and reflect and discuss in a way that would not occur if they went their separate ways after the day’s formal program ended.

Past FIRs include State Representative Angela Cockerham, State Senator Sally Doty, former Greenville Mayor Heather McTeer Toney, political consultant Nancy Bocskor and leadership consultant Carole Leland.

2018 Mississippi N.E.W. Leadership participants visit the state Capitol in Jackson, Mississippi.


Dr. Bridget Pieschel
Director, Center for Women’s Research and Public Policy
Mississippi University for Women
1100 College Street, Orr Annex
MUW Box 269
Columbus, MS 39701
Phone: (662) 329-7166

Andrea May-Myles
Program Assistant
Stennis Center for Public Service
1 Research Blvd., Suite 104
Starkville, MS 39759
Phone: (662) 325-8622

Jessica Shappley
Program Director
Stennis Center for Public Service
1 Research Blvd., Suite 104
Starkville, MS 39759
Phone: (662) 325-8409