Women’s History Month Encourages Empowerment

Two programs feature award-winning opera singer Janis-Rozena Peri

WEST LIBERTY, W.Va., March 15, 2022 – West Liberty University is celebrating Women’s History Month with events celebrating female empowerment. Coordinated by the Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI), events include a panel discussion scheduled for noon on Wednesday, March 16 in the College Union.

“We are thrilled with this panel representing diverse perspectives and experiences in mentorship, feminism and empowerment,” said Dr. Cecilia Konchar Farr, Dean of the College of Liberal and Creative Arts and Head of the Subgroup of Women’s Empowerment from the WLU Campus Diversity Committee.

The roundtable is open to the public and features the perspectives of four women leaders, representing four different generations.

Invited participants include Professor Janis-Rozena Peri (retired WVU Professor), as well as WLU Professor Dr. Eveldora Wheeler, and student leader Mackenzi Jones.

Peri retired from the WVU School of Music in 2008. She holds a Bachelor of Music degree in piano from Otterbein College and a Master of Music degree in voice from the University of Miami. She studied and performed in New York and sang in a variety of venues: solo recitals at Carnegie Recital Hall and New York City Hall; Serena in Gershwin’s “Porgy and Bess” in Birmingham, Alabama; Frankie in the Schweitzer Tourne Theater production of “Carmen Jones” in Germany and the Netherlands; and songs by Alma Mahler in the CBS “Camera Three” presentation of “Gustav Mahler in New York”.

Wheeler is an associate professor of social work, teaching at WLU’s College of Liberal and Creative Arts. Previously, she served on the faculty of the School of Social Work at West Virginia University and Indianapolis University. A licensed clinical social worker, she has over 17 years of clinical practice in child protection, particularly with adults. Wheeler earned an undergraduate degree in psychology (WVU), a master’s degree in social work (University of Pittsburgh), an MBA (Point Park University), and a doctorate in educational psychology from West Virginia University.

Jones is a WLU undergraduate and former president of the student senate. She has been active on campus and at the SGA for several years. Jones is from Weirton, W.Va. and is a biology major.

Following the round table, Peri will speak in a 14-hour program about his autobiography, Tales and short stories from the life and imagination of a singer. This presentation is also part of Women’s History Month and will take place in the choir room of the Salle des Beaux-Arts. Peri’s book addresses the challenges she faced as a black woman in the music business and in academia, as well as the joys of pursuing her dreams.

Other events taking place this month, honoring women’s empowerment are:

  • Pan-Hellenic Women’s Empowerment Events observed by sororities throughout the week of March 14-18. Additionally, the BPE will be collecting donations throughout the month for the Wheeling YWCA Y-Boutique.
  • 5:00 p.m., Wednesday, March 23, “What were you wearing?” artistic workshop. This program is offered by Creative Arts Therapy Major Lindsay Manor and is open to all students as a way to create art and give voice to survivors of sexual assault.
  • Monday, March 28 at noon, reading of the episodic play, The Vagina Monologues, written by Eve Ensler. Readers will share excerpts from the 1996 play in College Union.
  • 11 a.m. – 1 p.m., Thursday, March 31, Trans Visibility Day, College Union.

The Diversity Committee, under the auspices of WLU’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion initiative led by Dr. Monique L. Akassi, meets throughout the academic year and is chaired by Chris McPherson, Director of Learning & Student Development Center and Dr. Felipe Rojas, assistant professor of Spanish.

Members include staff: Emily D’Aquila, Izzy Bennett, Kate Billings, Kim Eisel, Ryan Glanville, Yodev Ocasio, Cassandra Seth, Michelle Panepucci, Tammi Secrist, Tasha Taylor and Jared Thompson.

Faculty members are: William Baronak, Rebecca Meacham, Hilary Bougher-Muckian, Lihua Chen, Terri Giller, Amanda Tennant, Eveldora Wheeler, and James Wood.

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