News Item

Lander to be Represented at Women's Leadership Conference

May 14, 2015

Left to right: Sylvia Smith and Kimberly Modica

Two Lander University political science majors have been selected to attend the NEW Leadership South Carolina Conference at Winthrop University, May 17-21. The John C. West Forum on Politics and Policy at Winthrop is partnering with the College of Charleston to conduct the conference, which was created by the Center for American Women and Politics at Rutgers University.

Its purpose is to educate college women about the political process, giving them the knowledge and skills to become effective leaders in politics, public policy and public service. Participants were selected based on their commitment to women’s leadership and their interest in public affairs.

Junior Kimberly Modica, of Waterloo, and Sylvia Smith, of McCormick, will represent Lander at the conference.

Smith received her degree in political science at Lander’s commencement ceremonies on May 2. Next fall, she will head for graduate school at Liberty University, in Lynchburg, Va., where she will be enrolled in a criminal justice master’s degree program. She also plans to attend law school.

At Lander, she is a member of Pi Sigma Alpha, the national political science honor society, and has served as third vice-chair of the South Carolina Democratic Club.

Modica is a student in Lander’s Honors College. She and junior Megan Hughes, of Anderson, have been accepted into the Washington Semester Program, and they will spend the fall 2015 semester as interns, working, studying and living in the nation’s capital. Last fall, Modica was elected Speaker of the House for the statewide South Carolina State Student Legislature (SCSL). She is also president of Lander’s SCSL delegation and, like Smith, is a member of Pi Sigma Alpha honor society.

According to promotional material for the leadership conference, despite recent gains, including election of its first female governor, South Carolina ranks 47th in the percentage of women in the state legislature, while women are also under-represented on public boards and commissions and in statewide offices.