Twenty women college students from across Idaho are gathered at Boise State University this week for a week-long residential program designed to educate women about politics and leadership.
The program, dubbed NEW Leadership, was created by the Center for American Women and Politics at Rutgers University in 1991. This is the first time its come to Idaho. The state is the 27th to join the project, which is aimed at addressing the under-representation of women in American politics.
The students have heard from women legislators, mayors, business leaders and more, and participated in sessions on everything from effective communications and presentations to social media, interviewing, networking, and strategy building.
Three faculty in residence are spending the week with the students: state Sen. Cherie Buckner-Webb, D-Boise; Montana state Rep. Ellie Boldman-Hill; and China Gum, who served as Sen. Russ Fulchers campaign manager for his gubernatorial campaign and has been prominently involved in GOP political campaigns in Idaho.
Melissa Wintrow, a Boise State professor and one of the conference organizers as well as a newly nominated Democratic candidate for the Idaho House, said, In the true spirit of women's work in politics, this conference has been a collaborative effort, and the product has been powerful.