Shannon Simmons

(Rock Hill, S.C.) — The Winthrop University Office of Diversity and Student Engagement hosted their annual Women of Excellence celebration to recognize women’s history month.

The event, March 26, recognized students for their leadership abilities, advocacy for diversity, and service to Winthrop and the community.

Dr. Ginger Williams, Winthorp professor of history and 2018 Gale DiGiorgio Award Winner, was the featured speaker.

Additionally, two students — including Alexzondrea Harrison, founder of Evolving Essence and Deanndra Brown, founder of Good JuJu Only — shared their personal stories about their growth and efforts to build self love.

In the past the program was invite only, but coordinator Leyia Grant said this year the event was open to the public.

“I feel like it’s important for us to get that reinforcement from other women around us,” said Grant.

“Yes you’re doing great, you’re doing everything that you need to be doing and you’re on the right path. There’s no reason for you to feel any doubt within yourself, because you’re capable of doing anything you set your mind to.”

The event featured a round table discussion that organizers said allowed for self reflection and an intimate discussion between women on campus.

For example, one exercise asked the participants to write down ways they can empower themselves and other women around them.

Many of the participants said the event had a positive impact on them.