In the Fall of 2002, three women met for a meal at Dragon Express in Mount Pleasant, MI. Their discussion would soon turn from general conversation to an idea that would change the lives of female leaders at Central Michigan University. Kari Talik, Molly Suhr, and Laura Kaczor met later in the week at Molly’s house and implemented their conversation into the first draft of the constitution for the Organization of Woman Leaders.
Molly, Kari, and Laura believed that female leaders should have an outlet to come together and discuss the issues they experienced within their organizations. As campus leaders, they wanted an opportunity to network with other females, relieve stress, discuss campus issues relevant to women, and prevent burnout. They also felt strongly about the organization serving as an empowering resource for its members and other organizations on campus.
During the fall semester of 2002, the three women worked hard to develop the organization and recruit prospective members. They took suggestions for a name, found an adviser, and discussed the idea with other female leaders on campus. Fifteen women attended the first official OWLs meeting in Powers 136. Also in attendance was the newly appointed adviser, Cathy Warner from Calkins Hall. The women then took steps to learn how to develop and run a new organization. There were some challenges, but OWLs officially became a registered student organization in January of 2003.
Over the next few years, the members of the Organization of Woman Leaders used their experiences to develop the organization into an active voice on CMU’s campus. OWLs took 4th place in the Homecoming Maroon Cup competition that first year, volunteered for Sibs Weekend, took advantage of fundraising opportunities, organized philanthropy projects for the Susan G. Komen Foundation, and began implementing the annual recruitment process. Three years after that first OWLs meeting, the organization continues to grow and develop as an integral part of the CMU campus leadership community.
The Presidents of the Organization of Woman Leaders
Kari Talik- Spring 2003 to Fall 2004
Molly Suhr- Fall 2004 to Spring 2005
Jessica Micinski- Fall 2005 to Spring 2006
JJ Warren-Fall 2006
Ashley Weins-Spring 2007