Aerial view of campus with Williamsport, the Susquehanna River and Bald Eagle Mountain as a backdrop

Political science students participate in women's leadership program

Political science students participate in women's leadership program

Political science students Rebecca Sellers and Elizabeth Vollman are shown at the state Capitol they toured this summer through the National Education for Women’s Leadership Pennsylvania program.

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Two Lycoming College political science students recently participated in the National Education for Women’s Leadership Pennsylvania program at Chatham University in Pittsburgh.

Students Rebecca Sellers, a junior from Wrightsville, and Elizabeth Vollman, a senior from Trout Run, went through an intensive, week-long, residential leadership and public policy institute designed to educate and empower young women for future political participation and leadership. Each year, approximately 35 students from colleges and universities across Pennsylvania are selected to attend.

The program addresses the under-representation of women in the political arena by focusing on the role of women in politics and policy making in Pennsylvania. During the course of the week, the students toured the state Capitol and were joined by congresswomen, state representatives, councilwomen and policy leaders to discuss the importance of women in governing bodies.

“As a political science major, I know the statistics and outcomes of women being involved with political decisions,” Sellers said. “However, I don’t think I ever completely grasped the concept because it was only something I read about. Another aspect I really enjoyed was the social action projects. We were all split up into groups and were assigned an organization that was either pro or con to Marcellus Shale drilling. Each group formed their argument and then presented it to the ‘city council.’ It was very much like something we would do at Lycoming. So not only did we learn a lot, but we were able to put it into practice right away.”

This is the first year Lycoming students have participated in the program, said Caroline Payne, Ph.D., assistant professor of political science. The trip was funded by a Curriculum Enrichment Grant provided by the college.

Lycoming College is a four-year, residential liberal arts and sciences school dedicated to the undergraduate education of 1,400 students. Its rigorous academic program, vibrant residential community and supportive faculty foster successful student outcomes. Lycoming offers 36 academic majors and is recognized as a Tier 1 institution by U.S. News & World Report. Founded in 1812 and located near the banks of the Susquehanna River in Williamsport, Pa., Lycoming is one of the 50 oldest colleges in the nation. For more information, visit

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