President's Leadership Society Students Attend Women's Summit

Photo Caption: Columbia State President’s Leadership Society students were able to network with dynamic, knowledgeable individuals committed to advancing women’s economic welfare across Tennessee and the nation. Front row, pictured left to right: Dr. Janet F. Smith, Columbia State president; Stephanie Hubbard of Columbia, Student Government Association president; Victoria Franklin of Columbia, PLS member; Cara Czarnik of Columbia, PLS member. Back row, pictured left to right: Marlene Garcia of Franklin, PLS member; Lisa Grabowski of Nolensville, PLS member; Dr. Shanna Jackson, Columbia State dean of extended services and Williamson Campus; Amy Hubbard of Columbia, PLS member; and Betty Yates, executive assistant to the president.

(COLUMBIA, Tenn. – Nov. 12, 2014) - - - A group of female students from Columbia State Community College’s President’s Leadership Society were recently selected to attend the 2014 Economic Summit for Women and ATHENA International Conference in Nashville.

“The President’s Leadership Society was designed to help students develop and apply their unique leadership skills,” said Dr. Janet F. Smith, Columbia State president. “This conference is a great resource for these young ladies as they prepare to enter the workforce where they’ll be able to use their strengths and talents to be successful.” 

The Tennessee Economic Council for Women partnered with the Women’s Economic Foundation and ATHENA International to bring in-depth workshops to provide attendees with ways to achieve greater economic opportunity. “Women and Work: Succeed and Lead Economically through Experience, Vision and Connection” featured presenters who shared experiences geared toward enlightening and empowering the women in attendance.

The summit included workshops that addressed issues important to women with a focus on women in leadership and how they can achieve positive results by leveraging their existing skills. Workshops topics covered several aspects of work, including leadership, salary equity, equal opportunity, and how progress for women can strengthen the overall economy.

One featured workshop, “Closing the Gender Compensation Gap: Why It’s Good for the Bottom Line,” focused on the importance of closing the gender compensation gap and how equal pay for equal work can positively impact a company or corporation and ways it can affect how employees relate to an organization and the impact on the bottom line.

“This conference really opened my eyes to the gender inequality still prevalent in today’s workforce,” said Victoria Franklin, Columbia State sophomore and PLS member. “It’s great to know that so many women at the conference are working toward closing that gap.”

Franklin, a Columbia resident and Spring Hill High School graduate, is a business administration major who wants to pursue a career in accounting or human resources. She explained that one of the things she was surprised to learn was that women only make 73 cents to every dollar earned by a man.

“Overall, the conference gave me a better perspective on my job outlook and what I can expect after graduation,” Franklin said. “I definitely feel more prepared to enter the workforce with the tools and opportunities I’ve been given through the President’s Leadership Society.” 

Columbia State is a two-year college, serving a nine-county area in southern Middle Tennessee with locations in Columbia, Franklin, Lawrenceburg, Lewisburg and Clifton. As Tennessee’s first community college, Columbia State is committed to increasing access and enhancing diversity at all five campuses. Columbia State is a member of the Tennessee Board of Regents, one of the largest higher education systems in the nation. For more information, please visit

Tennessee’s Community Colleges is a system of 13 colleges offering a high-quality, affordable, convenient and personal education to prepare students to achieve their educational and career goals in two years or less. We offer associate degree and certificate programs, workforce development programs and transfer pathways to four-year degrees. For more information, please visit us online at

# # #

A Great Place To Start. Invest in Columbia State.

1665 Hampshire Pike, Columbia TN 38401 | 931-540-2722
Content © 1996-2013 Columbia State - All Rights Reserved. Columbia State Community College, a Tennessee Board of Regents institution, is an equal opportunity, affirmative action institution.