WIU Construction Management Major Attends Women's Leadership Seminar
March 18, 2014
MACOMB – Western Illinois University junior Kelsey Bryant, of Hurdland, MO, from the University's construction management program, recently attended the sixth annual Women's Construction Leadership Seminar in Omaha, NE. The seminar, sponsored by Peter Kiewit Construction, is open only to the top 50 female college leaders in the United States, and Bryant is the first female construction management major from WIU to attend the conference.
"This was an amazing opportunity, because I had the chance to talk and make connections with other females in the construction industry throughout the country and see what they were doing at their school versus at Western," Bryant said.
The seminar is designed to foster relationships with industry leaders and the opportunity to exchange experiences and ideas. The final aspect was for Kelsey to acquire personal growth and development resources. The two-day event focused on building leadership skills, and participants attended various sessions focusing on construction principles, leadership and determining a person's strengths. Participants also took part in a panel discussion and a site tour of a Kiewit Corporation construction site and participated in a team building activity.
The construction site tour was held at the Neal Energy Center. Kiewit is involved with the construction of the Air Quality Control System (AQCS) for two units at the site. The Center is comprised of Neal #3, a 515 megawatt, and Neal #4, a 644 megawatt coal fired power plants. The project is designed to make the low sulfur burning power plant units more environmentally friendly.
"My favorite part of the seminar was the panel discussion," Bryant said. "They had women who were working in the field, and we were able to ask them any question. For instance, they were able to tell us how they handled being in a male-dominated field and how they gained the respect of men."
Bryant said the strengths of the seminar were the networking with other college and university women leaders in construction and engineering. As a result of this seminar, Kelsey was offered and has accepted a summer internship with Kiewit Corporation.
"Being the first female from Western is truly and honor," Bryant said. "I applied the year before and was not selected to attend, but that made me work even harder on my experience and building my resume so I could have the opportunity to go the next year. And being selected was amazing because it just shows when you put your mind to something you can accomplish it. I want women to know that just because you may be in a male-dominated field does not mean you are not just as capable and qualified as them. We are equal."
For more information about WIU's construction management program, visit wiu.edu/academics/majors/business_and_technology/construction-management.php.