If you haven’t heard of the NC State Staff Women’s Network, you’re not alone. The group has managed to fly under the radar for the past four years, making it one of NC State’s best kept secrets.
That’s about to change as members of the group ramp up their outreach efforts.
“We’re all about networking, personal and professional growth and community service,” says Janice Sitzes, a longtime staff member who handles marketing for continuing and professional education units at the McKimmon Center. “It’s strictly volunteer.”
The group has definitely been busy. They’ve participated in professional development programs, screened the documentary “Makers: Women Who Make America” and visited the J.C. Raulston Arboretum. Social activities have included games of disc golf on Centennial Campus, an outing to the Arts NC State puppetry exhibit at the D.H. Hill Library and a guided tour the Belltower.
They’ve also engaged in service efforts, including a drive to collect clothing and personal items for InterAct, a nonprofit agency that assists survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault. Last year, volunteers donned Santa hats and sweaters and surprised NC State’s Wolfline bus drivers with festive holiday mugs.
“We want to help create the best working environment possible,” says Susan Colby, student services coordinator in the Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism. “By offering these ways for staff to connect with one another and gain an appreciation for who we are and what we do at NC State, we feel we are contributing to the strategic plan by enhancing organizational excellence and creating a culture of constant improvement.”
The group has a variety of events planned for the coming year. Members are slated to attend and volunteer at the NC State Chocolate Festival on Sept. 30, and participate in the Tour de Wolf lunchtime tour of NC State’s hollowed spaces on Oct. 27 in conjunction with the Office of the University Architect. They also plan a demonstration of healthy cooking with NC State’s award-winning dietitian, Lisa Eberhart, and plenty of holiday volunteer activities.
Joining the group is easy. Just contact Sitzes and she’ll add you to an email list so you can get regular news and updates. Organizers promise they won’t go overboard sending you email messages, and they won’t ask you to attend meetings.
Ultimately, the organizers hope the network brings people together.
“We have such a large campus,” Sitzes says. “And such a culturally diverse staff. But when you meet other staff members, you find so many commonalities.”