Sep/Oct
2018

Women’s Empowerment

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Written by Jorrie Johnson

I’VE BEEN RESEARCHING AND THINKING ABOUT WOMEN’S EMPOWERMENT. I FOUND PAPERS PUBLISHED ABOUT EMPOWERING WOMEN GLOBALLY AND NATIONALLY. LOCALLY, I HAVE SEEN MARCHES, MEETINGS AND THE LOCAL #USTOO MULTIMEDIA ARTS EVENT. ROCHESTERWOMEN HOSTED OUR OWN WOMEN’S EMPOWERMENT (WE) EVENT FOR WOMEN ENTREPRENEURS AT THE END OF JULY. WE WILL BE CO-SPONSORING WOMEN IN BUSINESS EVENTS (PAGE 26).

In this issue of RochesterWomen magazine, read about Marissa Larson (page 11), a beautiful young woman who overcame depression, chemical dependency and the challenges of being deaf. Through treatment and her own resiliency, she is recovering and now advocates for the deaf. She says, “We can do everything but hear.”  

Next, read about two local female doctors who created the GRIT for Women in Medicine: Growth, Resilience, Inspiration and Tenacity conference to be held September 20-22 in Truckee, California (page 13). The conference will “empower women and men in medicine with the skills and resources to remove barriers and bias of women in leadership positions specific to the challenges in health care.” 

 

Sep/Oct
2018

Marissa Larson: Raising her voice to help others

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Written by Tori Utley Photography by Dawn Sanborn Photography

MARISSA LARSON HAS HAD HER FAIR SHARE OF CHALLENGES. FROM LEARNING TO ACCLIMATE TO LIFE AS A DEAF PERSON TO EXPERIENCING ALCOHOLISM AND DEPRESSION, HER STORY CAN TEACH US ALL ABOUT THE VALUE OF RESILIENCY—AND HOW BOUNCING BACK FROM DIFFICULTY IS WHERE OUR GREATEST PURPOSE CAN BE FOUND. 

We Can Do Everything But Hear

Larson has been deaf most of her life. The idaho native lost her hearing when she was just 3 years old for reasons doctors could never explain. Having to learn to live, communicate and play differently, Larson says growing up deaf wasn’t always easy. And with a few family moves across the country—from Idaho to Texas and, finally, to Minnesota—it was challenging to find friends and build a community.

“It wasn’t easy growing up b-eing the only deaf person in my school,” Larson says. “I was bullied, left out a lot and struggled to make friends who were willing to learn sign language or take the time to get to know me.”

But Larson knew, as do others living with a disability, that she was much more than a deaf person. She was a daughter and a friend, excelled academically, had a great sense of humor and was a great athlete. Today, as an advocate for the deaf community, she’s made it her mission to educate others who “can do everything but hear.”

 

It began with discussions at book club: the burnout of women in the medical field, disparity in diversity and inclusion, gender parity and the proverbial “glass ceiling.” These issues became a recurring theme with the book club—then they decided to do something about it.

“They” are Anjali Bhagra, M.D. and Susan Moeschler, M.D. The “something” developed into the GRIT for Women in Medicine: Growth, Resilience, Inspiration, and Tenacity conference, the weekend of September 20-22 at the Ritz-Carlton, Lake Tahoe in Truckee, California. According to the two organizers, the conference was conceived three years ago and took 18 months to plan.  

SOLD OUT EVENT

 “There has been an overwhelming response,” said Dr. Bhagra. “We had to limit the numbers due to the size of the facility.” Selling out at approximately 300, is a strong message that let organizers know they had hit a nerve in the medical community. The target audience is broad according to organizers: professional women and men in health care who are interested in developing a gender-balanced leadership that is representative of patient population and society.

 

Sep/Oct
2018

Changing the World One Weekend at a Time

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Written by Virginia Cooper

ALL BELIEFS ARE HONORED AT THE WOMEN AND SPIRITUALITY CONFERENCE

LAST SEPTEMBER, OVER 750 PARTICIPANTS OF THE 36TH WOMEN AND SPIRITUALITY CONFERENCE WERE WARMLY WELCOMED AT THE NEWLY REDESIGNED MAYO CIVIC CENTER. THE CONFERENCE OFFERED 84 DIFFERENT WORKSHOPS ON TOPICS RELATED TO FEMINISM, SPIRITUALITY, HOLISTIC HEALING, SELF-HELP AND MORE. OVER 80 VENDORS OFFERED THEIR UNIQUE WARES IN THE EXHIBIT AREA, PLUS MANY READERS AND HEALERS WERE ON HAND TO OFFER THEIR GUIDANCE. LILAC WELLNESS CENTER CREATED A BEAUTIFUL SPACE FOR MASSAGE AND BODYWORK WITH A QUIET AREA FOR MEDITATION AND REFLECTION.

EVER-CHANGING CONFERENCE

After 35 years at Minnesota State University (formerly Mankato State University), the conference now finds its home in Rochester. Evolving from their Women’s Studies Department in 1981, the conference has given voice to those with a message to share through teaching a workshop and those open to new insights or experiences through learning, personal growth or healing. Their mission statement reflects their goal to provide a “supportive and nurturing setting for a dialogue of caring and mutual respect between and among women and men from many spiritual and religious traditions.”

Over the years, the conference has been a safe space for experiential workshops like yoga, drumming, moving meditation or dance, discussion groups, lectures and presentations. Many of the presenters have utilized the conference to present papers for their master’s thesis or doctoral research on topics ranging from theology to feminism. What has made it a fascinating experience is that it changes completely from year to year with new presenters, new workshops, new talents and new ideas.

 

SINCE THE BEGINNING OF TIME, WOMEN HAVE BRAVELY AND TIRELESSLY FOUGHT TO ASSERT THEIR POSITIONS AS EXPERTS, TRAILBLAZERS AND INNOVATORS. FROM COCO CHANEL TO MARIE CURIE, NORA EPHRON TO ROSA PARKS, MAYA ANGELOU TO ELEANOR ROOSEVELT, THESE INSPIRATIONAL LEADERS SHARE A COMMON BOND: THEY DID NOT LET FEAR, DOUBT OR CONSEQUENCE INHIBIT THEIR ABILITY TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE.

SUCCESSFUL LEADERSHIP

From elementary school class elections to the race for the White House, people want to understand what ensures success as a leader. But what often goes unrecognized is that there are many different visions of what constitutes a successful leader.

Imagine if each of the women above had followed the exact same – path to “successful leadership.” They may not have achieved all that they did or have as much of an impact on the world. What made them incredible leaders were their unique dreams, talents, goals, influences, opportunities and many other qualities that each possessed and shared with others.

 

Sep/Oct
2018

Women Leading Higher Education: Learners empower learning

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Written by Gina Dewink Photography by Fagan Studios

WOMEN REPRESENT JUST 30 PERCENT OF UNIVERSITY PRESIDENTS OR CHANCELLORS, ACCORDING TO A 2016 AMERICAN COUNCIL ON EDUCATION STUDY. WHILE THE REPORT DOESN’T ACCOUNT FOR OTHER LEADERSHIP POSITIONS HELD WITHIN HIGHER EDUCATION, THE POINT REMAINS: ROCHESTER IS ATYPICAL BY HAVING THREE MAJOR INSTITUTIONS OF HIGHER LEARNING WITH WOMEN LEADERS AT THE HELM.

Winona State University–Rochester: Jeanine E. Gangeness, Ph.D.

Dr. Gangeness jokingly refers to herself as the “WSU-Rochester roadie.” But, in fact, she is the Winona State University-Rochester (WSU-R) chief executive and operations officer responsible for leading the campus. “I work with the team to develop planning documents for marketing, recruitment, enrollment, graduate programs, student services, finance and facilities,” Dr. Gangeness explains. “Through intense engagement of staff, we work together to improve local culture, increase graduate enrollment and develop strategy for branch campus sustainability.”

 

Sep/Oct
2018

Finding Style & Fitness at 40

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Written by Melissa McNallan

I’VE BEEN TRYING DREAMS OUT SINCE MY 36TH BIRTHDAY. AROUND THAT TIME, I WAS LEADING THE SALES BOARD AT A CAR DEALERSHIP, HAD RECEIVED A PROMOTION DESPITE DAMAGING A FEW $40,000+ VEHICLES AND WAS ENJOYING MY WORK. IF I COULD SUCCEED AT SOMETHING I DIDN’T KNOW MUCH ABOUT, I THOUGHT I COULD BE SUCCESSFUL IN SOMETHING I DREAMED OF DOING.

For the curious: The vehicle damage was caused by my errant perception when parking large SUVs. I still remember that horrible crunching noise. Both times I was pulling forward and turning left.  

Pre-Blog Dream Chasing

When I was growing up, I wanted to be an actress, writer and editor of a major fashion magazine. I planned to live in Manhattan, Paris and Los Angeles whenever I wasn’t traveling. Life happened, and I’ve stayed planted in my hometown: Rochester. 

 

Sep/Oct
2018

Hemp Changed My Life: Health benefits of hemp oil

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Written by Michelle Kalina

WHEN I PLACED MY FIRST ORDER FOR HEMP OIL, I WAS UNAWARE THAT I WAS OPENING THE DOOR TO A PRODUCT THAT WOULD CHANGE MY LIFE. THIS PLANT-BASED REMEDY HAS COUNTLESS BENEFITS AND CAN SUPPORT YOUR HEALTH AND WELLNESS. 

Since I began my journey toward wellness eight years ago, I have tried nearly every natural remedy for sleep issues. In yoga, we call this “chitta vritti,” which translates from Sanskrit as mind chatter or “monkey brain.” By far, hemp oil has made the most significant difference in my sleep, with zero negative impact.

THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN HEMP AND CANNABIS

There is a lot of confusion about the cannabis plant. People use the words cannabis, hemp and marijuana interchangeably, while they actually mean different things. 

Cannabis is a plant family that includes many species. Industrial hemp is a variety of cannabis grown for its tall, sturdy stalks, low THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) levels, and high levels of CBD (cannabidiol). 

 

Sep/Oct
2018

La Dolce Vita!

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Written by Dawn Sanborn

IF THERE IS JUST ONE WORD THAT COMES TO MIND WHEN SOMEONE ASKS ME TO DESCRIBE ITALY, IT’S "EXQUISITE." FROM ITS LONG MEDITERRANEAN COASTLINE WITH SPECTACULAR VIEWS OF SOME OF THE MOST VARIED AND SCENIC LANDSCAPES ON EARTH, TO ITS CULTURE STEEPED IN ART, FAMILY, ARCHITECTURE, MUSIC AND FOOD, TO ITS ANCIENT RUINS—AND HOME TO SOME OF THE MOST FAMOUS STRUCTURES IN THE WORLD, INCLUDING THE COLOSSEUM AND THE LEANING TOWER OF PISA—HOW COULD ITALY NOT BE DESCRIBED AS EXQUISITE?

First Stop: Rome (Roma)

Consider the swirling traffic and exuberance of life in the Italian capital city and it’s easy to believe “all roads lead to Rome.” The city can overwhelm you with its millennia of history, unrivaled art collections and neighborhoods that feel like small villages. When you combine the enviable marriage of carpe diem (seize the day) and la dolce vita (the sweet life), you’ve got a city that will knock you out with excitement.

 

Sep/Oct
2018

Italian Wines: Red, White and You

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Written by Nicole L. Czarnomski

ITALY HAS OVER 2,500 INDIGENOUS TYPES OF GRAPES. ITALIAN WINEMAKERS CREATE WINE RANGING FROM FRUITY ROBUST REDS TO CRISP DRY AND SPARKLING WHITE WINES. WITH SO MANY VARIETIES, IT CAN MAKE THE SELECTION PROCESS DIFFICULT. 

The Struggle is Real

There are so many native types of grapes in Italy because the landscape is superb for growing grapes. “Grape vines like to struggle. They grow well in rocky, mountainous or hilly regions, and they thrive in volcanic, prehistoric ocean beds,” says Robert Riggs, wine expert at Apollo Liquor. There are three volcanoes in Italy creating the perfect conditions for grapes: Mount Vesuvius on the mainland, Mount Etna on Sicily and the island volcano of Stromboli.

Expressive Italian White Grapes

“I love Italian whites. They are so, so expressive. The two main grapes are vermentino and verdicchio,” Riggs says. “Vermentino grapes are grown all over Italy, and even though it’s the same grape, it has different expressions.” In Sardinia the grapes create crisp and acidic wine. In Tuscany the wines are softer and rounder, and in Piedmont the wine is crisp with less mineral. Wine buyers beware: Italians have a habit of changing the name of the grape depending on the region. For example, the vermentino grape is known as the favorita grape in Piedmont.

 

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