Themes of self-advocacy, problem solving round out inclusion panel series

Published: Oct 5, 2020 9:05 AM

By Alyssa Turner

Panelists from ExxonMobil, Southwire and NASA’s Marshall Space and Flight Center will advise students on how to handle the uncomfortable situations that sometimes arise in the workplace during the final installment of the Samuel Ginn College of Engineering’s diversity and inclusion seminar series. Titled, “Self-Advocacy in the Workplace: Strategies for Navigating Sticky Situations,” the virtual panel will take place on Wednesday, Oct. 7.

Moderator Marissa Miller, a career counselor in the Engineering Office of Career Development and Corporate Relations (CDCR), hopes to engage students in the importance of understanding who they are and how to articulate their needs while being effective employees. Miller is confident the line-up of panelists will instruct how to adapt to new environments and strive for collaboration and solution-oriented work.

“Our panelists each bring a different perspective, and all have incredible experiences to share,” Miller said. “We hope to practice vulnerability and encourage critical conversations that can help students recognize how essential it is to articulate expectations and a willingness to learn from others.”

Paige Lowery, a talent acquisition specialist at Southwire, is one of the participating panelists. Lowery plans to denounce the negative connotation surrounding the act of being vulnerable.

“Vulnerability can be the difference between being a good employee and a great employee. Being vulnerable has been interpreted as being weak, but for me, it means recognizing my current limitations and pushing myself to learn because I want to be better,” she said.

Panelists will discuss decision-making around tough conversations concerning a range of situations, from small transgressions to the morally compromising ones. 

“I hope students learn to recognize how to triage an approach to solve problems,” Lowery disclosed. “Some situations call for immediate action, some a more moderate approach and others may just be annoying. Learning how to address all types of situations will serve us all.”

The event is hosted by 100+ Women Strong, the Engineering Academic Excellence Program and CDCR. More information, and a link to submit questions to the panelists, can be found on the event page.

Media Contact: Cassie Montgomery,, 334.844.3668
The final installment of the inclusion panel series will take place on Wednesday.

The final installment of the inclusion panel series will take place on Wednesday.

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