Linkage Love: The Power of Sheroes

By Brenda Bethman

One of the best things about my job is that it brings me in touch with a variety of incredible people. One of them is Gloria Feldt, amazing feminist and former president of Planned Parenthood Federation of America. I am lucky enough to be in the middle of talking to Gloria about the possibility of a visit to UMKC to talk about “The Power of Sheroes,” which meant a phone call on Tuesday morning to discuss details. After our phone call, I was motivated to post this as my Facebook status:

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This week’s Linkage Love is dedicated to sharing the names of some of the folks I listed as my mentors, role models, and sheroes with links to their websites, blogs, etc. I wish I could include all of them, but I am fortunate enough to know too many inspiring women and men to be able to list them all here. So, here is an abbreviated list:

  • Kristen Abell. Because she’s my work BFF (it’s true — she said so) and because she’s fierce, funny, and honest. UMKC would not be the same without her and I’m lucky to call her a friend.
  • The Staff, Advisory Board, and Constituents of the UMKC Women’s Center. For making my job fun and meaningful.
  • Courtney MartinFor being an amazing feminist, for the inspiration she brings, and for making everyone around her want to be better people.
  • Kassie Stallings Sands. Because her blog makes me laugh and think. Many, many thanks to Kristen for introducing us.
  • Casey and Sloane Simmons. For being the most generous, giving people I know (and that is really saying something given some of the people I know). The good they do for Kansas City is unmatched.
  • Barclay MartinFor the reasons Chris Dahlquist lists. And for being an awesome scheming partner.
  • My #femlead ColleaguesFor teaching me something new every two weeks.
  • Rosemary FealFor making the MLA fun (no small feat!).
  • Anitra. Because she is awesome in all ways. She is also fiercely private, so I will go with one name and no links.
  • Shaun LongstreetFor being a fabulous friend, super smart, and the best business partner a girl could ask for.
  • Deb Schmidt-RogersFor being a friend and showing us that it’s okay to be vulnerable and how to build community.
  • The Snow GlobesFor making beautiful Christmas music and doing good at the same time.
  • Liana Silva-Ford. For being a great friend and inspiration. Our talks always leave me feeling better.
  • The SAWTT BloggersFor being better than Kristen and I ever imagined when we started this project.


There are so many, many more folks I could list, including friends, family, colleagues past and present, former faculty, and current and former students, but there is just not enough time to list them all. I am truly lucky to have this network of support to draw on. Who are your mentors/role models/sheroes?

Linkage Love: The Power of Sheroes

Fearless Women

By Stephanie Wintling

Have you ever had the experience where you meet someone and instantly you know they will have a profound impact on your life? There are few instances in my life when this has happened but when this happens I always stand in awe at those moments and am immensely grateful that they happen to me at all. Majority of people influence my life over time but there are those rare few that upon meeting I knew they would help me along my journey both professionally and personally.

Today’s blog prompt is “Do you have any female mentors? Tell us about them and how they have influenced you.”

This prompt has made me reflect on my female mentors and why I consider them mentors. Three women instantly came to mind and I started contemplating what is it about these women that make them my mentors. One theme arose, “fearless” these women, although I know they experience fear, approach their professional lives fearlessly. They have fearlessly given me opportunities to advance my career without being protective over a project or doubted I wouldn’t do as good as job as them.  They have fearlessly called me out on self deprecating behaviors and empowered me to own my strengths and talents. Finally, they have fearlessly pursued their careers and achieved exponentially and continue to achieve in their careers.

Bet you’re curious who these women are? Here are the 3 women I consider my mentors:

Teri Bump @tbump

Although Teri has only recently been introduced in to my life through the power of Twitter, she has already had a profound impact on my life. For those of you who already know Teri, you know she is well networked and loves to connect people with each other and this has been amazing to have in a mentor. However, the impact Teri has had on me comes from her outlook and the way she carries herself. She will instantly call a woman out on self deprecating behavior and challenge them to own their strengths. One thing Teri is brilliant at is targeting an individual’s strengths and is never shy to bring them to light. The way she challenges self deprecating statements and celebrates other’s strengths is so natural and a genuine testament to her desire to empower others.


Jeanna Mastrodicasa @DrJtotheMastro

When Jeanna first introduced herself in my Grad class at UF my initial thought was I want to be just like her! She has a J.D., a PhD, was a Gainesville City Commissioner, worked with assessment, assistant Vice President of Student Affairs, and had an awesome personality. I set up a meeting with her and the rest is history. Jeanna allowed me to have some really amazing opportunities at the University of Florida. The one thing brilliant about Jeanna is her ability to instantly put things in to perspective. She is extraordinarily intelligent and staff refer to her when they need clarity on a situation. Jeanna is definitely a go to person when you have questions or are confused about something. One of the greatest things Jeanna has done for me is never questioned my abilities but always given me opportunities and expected me to succeed.


Myra Morgan

Myra Morgan

Myra’s list of accolades is extensive but getting the experience to work with Myra and have her continue to be a mentor in my career is a true blessing. Myra, like Jeanna, fearlessly provided me with opportunities to grow during grad school. While the blessings of those opportunities taught me loads of lessons, the way Myra carries herself continues to challenge me to be a better professional. Myra KNOWS her students. She knows if they’re married, have kids, what career they are in, where they live, and what’s going on in their lives. No matter when they were her student, she knows what’s going on and if she doesn’t can easily find out. As someone who forgets names easily, watching Myra remember all these details about students and how it is paying of in her role as a development officer is truly incredible. Finally, Myra always cares what’s going on in my life. I never expect a quick response from my e-mails to her because of her schedule but she is always quick to inquire what is going on with me professionally and personally. Again everything she does comes from a place of care and I know that’s why she has had so much success in the field.

I hope I have inspired you all, just as these women have inspired me. Who are your mentors? Maybe you never formally said they were your mentor but as you reflect they truly are a mentor to you. Take some time to thank them and appreciate all they have done. For those of you without a mentor, seek them out. You will be surprised the amazing individual waiting to impact your life.



Fearless Women