PennWest to hold conference on women

From staff reports

Pennsylvania Western University will host the Women in Focus conference from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. April 14 at Cranberry Regional Learning Alliance in Cranberry Township.

The goal of the conference is to bring together a network of women to discuss their identities and experiences in higher education, including highlighting common barriers women face in university leadership, classrooms and departments.

Stephanie Adam, associate professor in PennWest Department of Management and Marketing, developed the conference. She selected speakers who are diverse in age, stage of career, ethnicity and position.

Acting president of PennWest, Laurie Bernotsky, will present the keynote address.

Other speakers include Deborah Calhoun, professor emeritus at Notre Dame of Maryland University and a management consultant, and Lisa Hernandez, chief human resources officer and Title IX coordinator at Robert Morris University.

The PennWest Panel will present “The Struggle Can Be Real: Finding, Keeping and Growing a Career,” in which students, faculty and staff address questions related to interactions in their professional and educational lives.

Panelists include Candice Riley, assistant professor in PennWest Department of Management and Marketing; Rhonda Gifford, executive director of Experiential Learning & Employer Engagement with the PennWest Center for Career & Professional Development; Lynne Fleisher, director of Online Student Services and Support, Clarion lead success coach; and PennWest students Tamiya Thomas and Grace Hansmann.

Mattie Sloneker, a 2022 PennWest California BSBA graduate and current student in the Master of Accountancy program, and Marcia DePaula, an attorney with Steptoe & Johnson PLLC, Pittsburgh, will lead breakout sessions.

To register or for information on cost, visit More information is also available by contacting