Texas Tech University


Texas Women in Higher Education

At Texas Tech University
West Texas Regional Meeting

Friday, April 9, 2021 | 8:30 a.m. - 12:45 p.m.

Texas Tech University, Lubbock, Texas, Virtual Conference

Order of Events


8:25 a.m. Zoom site opens, enter registrants into Zoom

8:30 a.m. Opening Welcome from Dr. Sofia Chapman and introduction of President Lawrence Schovanec

8:35 a.m. -8:45 a.m. Welcome from President Schovanec

9:00 a.m. – 9:30 a.m.

Margaret Williams TTU

"Beyond the Glass Ceiling"

Breaking the glass ceiling requires toughness, perseverance, and a thick skin. It can be a lonely journey. Exciting new challenges and opportunities await on the other side; however, a broken ceiling, especially one made of glass shards, is not the sturdiest foundation on which to build. I will share my experiences, ideas, and advice about navigating life and career beyond the glass ceiling.

9:30 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.

Andrea Tawney TTUHSC – El Paso

"From Growing up in a Rough Neighborhood to Ph.D. but then the Guilt"

So you succeeded, against all odds, you made it out of a rough neighborhood, while your single mom worked long shifts to make ends meet. You're the first in your family (and by family I mean multiple generations of aunts, uncles, and cousins) to graduate from college. You are the only one in your family and community to move away. You land your first professional job in a university and you notice not many people look like you, relate to you, or have the goal-driven work ethic that defines you. There's guilt at every turn, from spending too much time away from a new baby, struggling to stay connected with family and friends, to proving your worth. As professional women, finding our authentic self and shedding the guilt can be liberating once we discover we CAN be the leaders that inspire transformation.

10:00 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.

Sofia Chapman TTU

"The Masks We Wear"

Leading in academia while experiencing personal pain is challenging. As women, we sometimes have to mask our pain to get through our workdays. Even though we have to do this at times, it's important to ask for help. Finding support networks and allowing ourselves to be vulnerable are ways to honor ourselves. In my authentic voice, I will share how I navigated working in higher education during a time of extreme personal pain.

10:30 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.

Michelle Miller ASU

"Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness."

Happiness? Did we forget about that unalienable right? As working women, we've certainly balanced it all (often while wearing heels) to obtain the life we dream of. In some way, at some time, we all have protected the freedom to do as we please. We've obtained the right degree (or are in the process of doing so), we've made the right choices (or found a way to make them right), we hustle at work, we do our best to get it right at home, we show up. But happiness? Is it our right? if so, how do we make that happen? Let this defender of happiness take you through her personal journey of finding and pursuing “happy.”

11:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.

Jody C. Randall TTU

"Son of a Hair Dresser, a Coal Miner's Daughter”: Ways of Learning, Living, and Leading"

In 1969, country music singer and songwriter Loretta Lynn captured her childhood experience in Butcher's Holler, Kentucky in her award-winning song, “Coal Miner's Daughter.” Lynn later claimed in an interview with American Songwriter that while the song's story accounts for real experiences from her life, “The song doesn't tell half of it. If I told the whole story nobody would believe it now anyway” (Zollo, 2020). Many of Lynn's childhood hardships resonate with my childhood in Alabama, the heart of the rural south, and adolescence and young adulthood in western Kentucky. During the Texas Women in Higher Education Conference, I will discuss my views on learning, living, and leading while tracing the influences of my family's language practices, labor history, and views on education. Bring your funds of knowledge to this conference because I am bringing mine!


11:45 a.m. – 12:45 a.m.

President Lori Rice-Spearman, TTUHSC

Office of the President