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Kjersten Vincent

JOUR 3160-002

May 3, 2016

Final Article

Focus Statement: UNC Charlotte celebrates women in the community who dedicate their time

to solving international and womens issues.

UNC Charlottes 11th annual International Womens Day celebration honors exceptional


UNC Charlotte honored women in the community during an International Womens Day

celebration on March 31st, 2016. The event took place in UNCCs Student Union Multipurpose

room from 3:30 to 5:00 pm. Flags from each of the nominees home countries decorated the

room, surrounding the large windows that backlit the main stage. The celebration began with an

introduction of the event by Kate Poisson and Rachawan Wongtrirat, an honoree herself, from

the Office of International Programs.

Three speakers each delivered speeches about women that had changed their lives.

Finance and Accounting Major Tuyen Lieu talked about a female mentor or femtor named

Jennifer Conway. Lieu began her speech by emphasizing the importance of femtorship: I

dont want to use the term mentor a lot its all about men, she said with a laugh from the

audience, so I think femtor is a better one.

PhD Candidate Farah Tokmic delivered a poetic speech about her mother. Tokmic

addressed her mother, who was not in attendance, throughout her speech: Mother, you are a true

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leader and set a beautiful example of a self-made, passionate and driven woman. She talked

about her mothers accomplishments and the impact her mother has had on her family and in her


Tokmics ode to her mother was filled with emotion. Throughout her speech, Tokmic

made many comments about her mother, including With her shimmering light, she [is], and will

forever be, an example of a brilliant woman.

Department of Language and Culture Studies Lecturer Janine Rodrigues Rangel de Assis

spoke about a professor that changed her life. Rangel de Assis detailed her professors life and

her accomplishments during her speech: In a country where your skin tone and your familys

name still somehow dictates what you are actually able or not able to achieve, she was so

determined and brave to fight against unfair systems and that is something definitely unique.

As for the impact Rangel de Assis experience has had on her life, she said she is really

grateful and I hope I will definitely pass the favor to another person who just needs a chance in

this world.

All three speakers delivered a message not only about women that made an impact on

their lives, but also about the power of women in the UNCC community and in the world. We

have mentorship men are so good at supporting each other and they are doing it so well, said

Lieu in her speech, so I encourage all women to create your own femtorship. The impact

Lieus mentor has had on her life is significant: Now Im counting down the days until my

graduation in May with the highest honor, and thats all about the difference Jennifer has made in

my life, said Lieu at the end of her speech.

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Many students, faculty and families of the honorees were in attendance. I think it was

really beautiful. It felt special, said audience member Tracey Buchanan of the event.

The UNCC Charlotteans, led by director Ginger Wyrick, performed two songs. The first

song was a traditional song from the Torres Strait Islands called Sesere Eeye and the second

song was Stand Together by Jim Papoulis. Joey Rincon and Eric Chang provided musical

accompaniment for the performance.

International Womens Day occurred on March 8 this year. According to the events

program, When women on all continents [] come together to celebrate this day, they can

reflect on a tradition that represents more than one hundred years of struggle for equality, justice,

peace, and development. This event is an extension of that purpose and meant for UNCCs


In total, 57 nominees received certificates celebrating the work they have done. Due to

time limits, the nominees were all featured on a slideshow that played throughout the event

instead of individually honored. At the end of the event, all attending nominees picked up their

certificates and many stayed afterwards to talk with other honorees and take pictures.

According to the Office of International Programs website, the UNC Charlotte

community had until March 15 to nominate deserving women. To become an honoree, one has to

be an international or American UNC Charlotte student who is interested in international affairs

and has done something worthy of recognition, or a female UNC Charlotte faculty or staff

member who supports international and womens initiatives and has also not been recognized


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According to the Office of International Programs, approximately 120 guests attended,

which is around the same number of people that attended the previous year. They also said the

event was very successful compared to previous years and that they are looking forward to next

years event.

Following the speeches, event host Kate Poisson gave a closing speech inviting the guests

to fill out a postcard to send to any woman on campus to thank them for being an inspiration.

The Office of International Programs and Global Gateways also offered an opportunity for

women to live on campus during First Summer session. For more information, contact the Office

of International Programs.


Blurb: UNC Charlotte honored women in the community during an International Womens Day

celebration on March 31st, 2016. Three speakers talked about women that changed their lives and

the importance of female relationships. Accompanied by musical performances and touching

speeches about friendship and hard-working women, this celebration was really beautiful and

Kjersten Vincent

Final Article Notes

Notes from event:

Postcard to send to any woman on campus that inspires you

Summer Living Opportunity at UNCC offered by Office of International Programs
Thank you speech at end of event
Flags from each country of the honorees
Slideshow of all honorees with a blurb about them and picture
3 speeches from international women at UNCC
Honorees collected certificates and took pictures after event

Interview notes:

Most quotes are from live speeches (I pulled these quotes from throughout each 4-minute
o Speakers: Tuyen Lieu, Farah Tokmic and Janine Rodrigues Rangel de Assis.
Quote from audience member at event
o Tracey Buchanan ( I asked for her name and her
email and her reaction to the event.
She said: I think it was really beautiful. It felt special.
Other information about event
o Office of International Programs ( I asked them over
email how many people attended the event, if the event was successful and who
hosted the event.
They said around 120 people attended but it was hard to tell

because many people left and/or entered; they said the event was
very successful compared to previous years and had around the
same number of guests; they said they organized the event and
Kate Poisson and Rachawan Wongtrirat hosted it.