WIELS 2023

WIELS Virtual 8th Annual Symposium

The eighth annual   Women in Educational Leadership Symposium (WIELS) will be held virtually, Thursday, October 5, and Friday, October 6, 2023 from 1:00-5:00 pm EST. The symposium theme is Building Capacity for Safety and Wellness. WIELS invites attendees from all sectors involved in educational leadership from across the globe.  

This year, WIELS will sponsor two keynote speakers and an invited panel: 

  • Tricia McManus, Superintendent of the Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools, will deliver the keynote address on Thursday, October 5, Leadership for Safety in Schools. 

  • Christine Reed Davis, Associate Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs and Dean of Students at University of North Carolina at Charlotte, will moderate a panel following the keynote address on Thursday, October 5, Empathy and Empowerment: Women in Education Shaping a Culture of Campus Safety.

  • Elaine Miller-Karas, Executive Director Emeritus of the Trauma Resource Institute, will deliver the keynote address on Friday, October 6, Leadership for Wellbeing and Mental Health.

Additionally, there will be three concurrent sessions with nine additional panels, critical conversations, and paper presentations throughout the two day event. Please see the 2023 WIELS Session Descriptions for more information. 

WIELS is a partnership between faculty members in Appalachian State University's Reich College of Education and practicing educators. The partnership aims to equip women with pragmatic knowledge, skills, and dispositions that prepare them for success as educational leaders.


logoWIELS is a partnership between faculty members in the Leadership and Educational Studies at Appalachian State University and practicing educators. Our mandate is the development of an 'armoring process' that will equip women with pragmatic knowledge, skills, and dispositions that prepare them for success as educational leaders. Dates for the Virtual 8th Annual Symposium are October 5-6, 2023. A schedule will be posted shortly.

We believe all women, regardless of age, race, sexual orientation, creed, cultural uniqueness, religion, or politics deserve a community of support to foster their career advancement. WIELS is committed to developing individual and collective efficacies of women to ensure they are better equipped, confident, and ready to assume leadership positions.

Although gender and wage gaps are somewhat narrowing, women are still disproportionately under-represented in senior leadership positions in education as indicated by national and state trends. It is against such a backdrop that gives us the impetus to address these issues at WIELS. The overarching goal of this partnership is to narrow gender and wage gaps in various forms of leadership and governance. WIELS will serve as a catalyst, convener, and developer, to support educational career pathways for women.

To accomplish our mission, WIELS will be a clearinghouse for information on hot button issues facing women in educational leadership. WIELS will also sponsor an annual symposium held at Appalachian State University to provide networks of mentors, colleagues, and role models to assist women in achieving their career goals. 


Contact Us

For more information, please contact WIELS director and assistant director.

Dr. Precious Guramatunhu-Mudiwa
WIELS Executive Director

Dr. Susan Colby
WIELS Associate Executive Director