Contact: Jenni Smith
SMU News & Media Relations
(214) 768-7650


January 10, 2002


DALLAS (SMU) -- Southern Methodist University’s 37th Annual Women’s Symposium in the series “The Education of Women for Social and Political Leadership” will be held Feb. 26-27 on the SMU campus. Speakers include University of Texas at El Paso President Diana Natalicio, former Clinton Administration counsel and current senior vice president at Oxygen Media Cheryl Mills, and 9to5: National Association of Working Women co-director Ellen Bravo.

The symposium, titled “The Quest for Success: Discovering Personal and Professional Empowerment,” will be in the SMU Hughes-Trigg Student Center, 3140 Dyer St. Registration is $85 per person and includes lectures, workshops, program materials, dinner Tuesday and lunch Wednesday. Student discounts apply. Registration deadline is Feb. 15. For more information call Gail Ward at (214) 768-4412 or visit the web site at

Started in 1966 by the late Emmie V. Baine, the SMU Women’s Symposium is the longest continuously running program of its kind in the nation and one of SMU’s oldest traditions. The symposium brings together women and men of differing ages and ethnic backgrounds to discuss topics of national interest and to interact with renowned leaders in education and public affairs. In addition to speakers of national prominence, the symposium includes topical seminars and workshops conducted by students, community leaders, faculty and staff. The event attracts more than 500 people to the SMU campus.

Natalicio will present the first general session lecture, “Crossing Boundaries,” at 2 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 26, in the Hughes-Trigg Student Center Theater. Natalicio has been president of UTEP since 1988. She previously served as vice president for academic affairs, dean of liberal arts and chair of the modern languages department. She received her bachelor’s degree in Spanish summa cum laude from St. Louis University; and her master’s degree in Portuguese and doctorate in linguistics from The University of Texas at Austin. She was a Fulbright scholar in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and held a Gulbenkian fellowship in Lisbon, Portugal.

Natalicio also has served on numerous boards and commissions, including: Education Advisory Team for Bush-Cheney Transition; National Science Board; NASA Advisory Council; U.S.-Mexico Commission for Education and Cultural Exchange; and Advisory Commission on Education Excellence for Hispanic Americans. She is past chair of the board of the American Association for Higher Education. In 1999 she was inducted into the Texas Women’s Hall of Fame.

Mills will present the second general session of the SMU Women’s Symposium, “An Empowerment Zone of Your Own,” at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 26. Mills defended President Clinton on obstruction of justice charges following the Monica Lewinski case, leading to her becoming only the third African-American to speak from the Senate floor.

Currently the senior vice president for corporate policy and public programming at Oxygen Media, Mills oversees legal issues, public policy and grassroots initiatives of the women-centered television network and online media company.

Devoted to women’s issues and civil rights, she also has served as an associate at the Washington, D.C. law firm of Hogan and Hartson where she represented various school districts seeking to implement the promises of Brown vs. the Board of Education.

A Phi Beta Kappa honors graduate from the University of Virginia where she earned the Arthur “Pete” Gray Award for outstanding leadership, scholarship and contribution to the university community, Mills earned her law degree in 1990 from Stanford Law School, where she was elected to the law review. While in law school, she co-chaired the Third National Conference on Women of Color and the Law. She also has co-founded a nonprofit organization devoted to the academic enrichment and interpersonal development of underprivileged minority senior high school students.

Bravo will present the third general session of the SMU Women’s Symposium, “Defining Success as Women and as a Nation,” at 1 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 27. Nationally recognized as an expert on working women’s issues and a widely acclaimed trainer, speaker and author, Bravo is a co-director of 9to5: National Association of Working Women, the nation's largest membership organization of working women.

Founded in 1973 by a group of Boston clerical workers, 9to5 has grown from a simple newsletter to a grassroots force of nearly 15,000. After working in offices for years to support herself as an activist and a writer, Bravo helped found the Milwaukee chapter of 9to5 in 1982. In 1984, Wisconsin Governor Anthony Earl appointed Bravo as an observer to the state's Comparable Worth Task Force. Since that time, she has become a leading spokesperson on pay equity, family leave and sexual harassment, debating the subjects extensively on TV and radio as well as at public meetings. She is regularly quoted in publications as diverse as The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Parenting Magazine and Glamour, and has appeared on television programs including CNN’s Crossfire.

In 1995, Bravo attended the United Nation’s Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing as part of a delegation sponsored by the Ms. Foundation, and has been awarded one of the Ms. Foundation's Gloria Steinem Women of Vision awards.

Bravo received her bachelor’s degree from Cornell University, her master’s from Cambridge University and has completed postgraduate work at McGill University. She has written two books, The 9to5 Guide to Combating Sexual Harassment and The Job Family Challenge: Not for Women Only.

Featured authors at the SMU Women’s Symposium will include SMU anthropology Professor Caroline Brettell, author of Writing Against the Wind: A Mother’s Life History; Ellen Castro, author of Spirited Leadership . . . 52 Ways to Build Trust on the Job; and Richard Halsey, author of The Citizen Action Encyclopedia: Groups and Movements That Have Changed America.

In addition to presenting several panel discussions and workshops, the symposium will offer a tour of The Women’s Museum: An Institute for the Future.

The symposium will present its Profiles in Leadership Awards at a special dinner Tuesday evening, Feb. 26. Recipients of the 2002 awards are Sandra C. Tinkham, Wendy A. Lopez, DeMetris A. Sampson, Wanda R. Brice and Suzanne Ahn.

Past speakers at the SMU Women’s Symposium include anthropologist Margaret Mead, Indian tribal leader Wilma Mankiller, poet Maya Angelou, civil rights leader Coretta Scott King, news commentator Cokie Roberts and former first lady Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton.