Lake Nona Campus Student Leaders Aim To Inspire During Women’s History Month


Brittany Bhulai / Valencia Voice

Image of the Lake Nona Campus sign with view of the main building.

Levi Lowry, Reporter

Valencia’s Lake Nona Campus Student Government Association and Student Development are bringing inspiring examples of women’s success stories to students this month with Women’s History Month celebrations.

“The clubs want to show that we have amazing women at our own college,” says Student Leader Stefanie Mendoza, one of the main organizers. Throughout Women’s History Month this March, students on the Lake Nona Campus can learn about and uplift both local and historical women through various events organized by the campus’ Student Development and SGA organizations. Throughout the entirety of March, a book nook of exclusively female authors is set up in the main hallway. Students can visit anytime.

On March 23 , the organizations provided refreshments and an opportunity to engage at the book nook.

“Leadership can be found at all levels”

— LNC SGA President Brianna Burchell

The Student Development and SGA Instagram pages have also been supporting local women with weekly shoutouts to Valencia women from all campuses. The main event is a Women’s History Month panel on March 30 from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. on Lake Nona Campus, Room 148. The panel will feature Provost Dr. Sobia Khan, Writing Center Supervisor Ella Raynor, Student Affairs Dr. Lesley Frederick, and Professor of Speech and New Student Experience Emilie Buckley as speakers—all successful women at Valencia College. Refreshments will be provided, giving further opportunities for student engagement, including chances to earn prizes.

These events are intended to inspire students by showing them there are women making history all around the world and on every level. “The celebrations will showcase women of different paths and statuses,” says Mendoza. The organizations want to show students that women’s history is all around them and not limited to famous women.

“Leadership can be found at all levels,” says the Lake Nona Campus SGA President Brianna Burchell. Mendoza and Burchell cite Valencia’s president Dr. Kathleen Plinske and Lake Nona Campus Provost Dr. Sobia Khan as examples of inspiring and successful Valencia women whose stories they hope will help other students as they have helped the two of them.

Women’s History Month wasn’t always a month. First, it was Women’s History Day in 1909, then Women’s History Week in 1978. Congress established it as the entire month of March in 1987.

According to National Geographic, women educators pushed for the creation of Women’s History Month in an effort to get equal education and jobs. Now, it celebrates the contributions of women to society in both history and today.

“There’s a lot to learn from women’s struggles and joys,” says local Orlando author Jenny Torres Sanchez. Sanchez, Mendoza, and Burchell all encourage people to recognize and uplift the women in their personal lives.

Burchell says, “Even at a college that probably the whole world doesn’t know about, there’s still women making a difference.”