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Women & Leadership Symposium 2024

April 5 - April 6

The Women and Leadership Symposium is an opportunity for the women of Bethany College to celebrate and inspire one another. It is an opportunity for YOU to be celebrated and inspire others. Please consider attending this year’s symposium April 5-6, 2024. The theme is Teamwork.

The program includes speakers, networking, interaction with students and fellow alumnae, and awarding the Scarlett Foster Scholarship to a deserving senior. It is a great time to reconnect with old friends and make new ones.

Symposium Schedule
Friday, April 5

5-6 p.m. Doors Open
6 p.m. Program Begins
6:15 p.m. Networking Icebreaker
6:45 p.m. Dinner & Keynote Speaker
8 p.m. Alumni & Student Networking Reception

Saturday, April 6

9:30 a.m. Doors Open & Brunch Buffet
10:15 a.m. Welcome & Panel Discussion: Teamwork
11:45 a.m. Scarlett Foster Women & Leaderships Award Announcement
Noon Closing Speaker

Keynote Speakers
Jennifer Grondahl ’97

Jennifer Grondahl was named the Baltimore Oriole’s senior vice president of community development & communications in Oct. of 2019. In this role, Grondahl focuses on building and maintaining relationships with partners, community leaders, civic organizations, fans, and the media to enhance the club’s community outreach efforts. She oversees the organization’s community and philanthropic initiatives, as well as the Orioles Charitable Foundation.

Grondahl joined the Orioles organization in Feb. of 2018 as the director of corporate & community partnerships for Sarasota Operations. Prior to joining the Orioles, she served as founder/president of Maestro Marketing & Events, where she provided strategic communication services for numerous corporations, nonprofits, and individuals. She was also the president of the YMCA Foundation of Sarasota, Inc. from 2013-16, and the executive director of the American Cancer Society from 2002-04.

Grondahl is a member of the Sarasota Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors and a mentor for a non-profit entrepreneur with Philanthropy Tank in Baltimore. She previously served on the Tourism, Entertainment, and Culture Committee of the Greater Baltimore Committee. She was a founding member of Sisterhood for Good, the largest women’s giving circle of the Manatee Community Foundation. She has also acted in leadership capacities for many charitable organizations in the Sarasota region, including Junior League of Manatee County, Rotary Club of Lakewood Ranch, and PACE Center for Girls.

Grondahl graduated from Bethany College (WV) with a bachelor’s degree in political science and received her certificate in fundraising management from Indiana University’s Lilly Family School of Philanthropy in 2016. She currently resides in Baltimore, Md., and Bradenton, Fla. with her husband, Paul.


Princess Serrano ’14

Princess Serrano was born and raised in Brooklyn, N.Y.

At a young age, Princess discovered her love for math and urban culture and sought career paths that combined her analytical prowess with her leadership capabilities.

Before studying at Bethany College, Princess held various internships including one with a top advertising agency, Ogilvy and Mather, where she was the youngest marketing intern on her team. Princess attributes her success to the family, teachers, and peers who taught her firsthand that “teamwork truly makes the dream work”. Those experiences led her to Bethany College where she obtained a communications degree in 2014.

During her time at Bethany, Princess was extremely active. Some of her leadership roles included VP of Marketing in the Student Activity Council (SAC), VP of PR on the Panhellenic Council, and Resident Assistant to Campbell Village 2.

One astute quality of Serrano’s is her ability to create new lanes and reinvent the wheel on what success looks like. Princess Serrano has charted a unique career path with over 10 years of experience in finance and media. She currently works as a Payroll Specialist of the Finance Team at Proskauer Rose, an Amlaw 500 law firm where she helps manage over 1 billion dollars in revenue. She currently also works at Sirius XM in sports programming which she’s maintained for nine years.

Sticking to her core values of “teamwork makes the dream work”, Serrano also established a brand consulting firm, in 2022 to assist start-up companies with branding initiatives.

When selected for the Women & Leadership Symposium she expressed that to speak to the women of Bethany is a “dream come true” as she was once in their shoes and knows firsthand what confidence and teamwork can do to a career.

Rev. Erin James-Brown

Rev. Erin James-Brown serves as pastor of Bethany Memorial Church and the College Chaplain at Bethany College. Prior to her move to Bethany, she lived in Chicago, Ill. where she served new and innovative churches and was actively engaged in outreach to the LGBTQ+ community. Editor of Finding Peace in an Anxious World, a 2020 Spiritual Growth Study from the staff of the Urban Village Church, she brings her passionate advocacy for social justice, community engagement, and peacebuilding to the community.


Sophie Morey ’23

Meet Sophie Morey, a dynamic and accomplished leader in the making, set to inspire and empower at our upcoming Women & Leadership Symposium.

Sophie graduated from Bethany College in 2023, earning a degree in Political Science and achieving distinction on her comprehensive exams. Currently, she’s immersed in the MBA 4+1 program at Bethany College, showcasing her commitment to continuous learning and growth.
As a graduate assistant for the communications office, Sophie plays a vital role in shaping the college’s digital presence. Her responsibilities include assisting with social media channels and contributing to impactful marketing campaigns.

Her list of accolades is nothing short of impressive, including the John G Chernenko Award, the Thomas Jefferson Prize in Political Science, and the inaugural Scarlett Foster scholarship. This scholarship, which Sophie was the first to receive, holds a special place in her journey and is a symbol of her commitment to academic excellence and community impact.

As a 2022-23 Presidential Fellow for the Center for the Study of the Presidency and Congress (CSPC), Sophie completed a study on the underrepresentation of women in diplomacy, presenting her findings at the annual spring conference.

A true advocate for civic engagement, Sophie founded and presided over the Political Science Club at Bethany. Under her guidance, the club organized events for Presidents Day and welcomed influential speakers to campus, fostering a culture of dialogue and critical thinking.
Beyond her academic pursuits, Sophie has actively contributed to the community. As a Family Mentor intern for the International Rescue Committee, she played a crucial role in helping newly resettled refugees integrate into American life. In her Political Affairs internship with The Borgen Project, she met with congressional leaders, passionately advocating for the fight against global poverty.

Sophie is a seasoned athlete, having been a key member of the women’s basketball team here at Bethany for five years. In the 2022-23 season, she not only captained the team but also received the CSC Academic All-District honor and was nominated for the NCAA Woman of the Year, representing the pinnacle of student-athlete excellence.

Join us at the Women and Leadership event to hear Sophie share her invaluable insights, experiences, and vision for the future. Her remarkable journey, marked by leadership, resilience, and service, sets the stage for an evening of inspiration.

Alicia Jordan ’99

When Alicia coached high school basketball, she would always give the team a motivational quote for the season. One of her favorite quotes is from Muhammad Ali… “I hated every minute of training. But I said don’t quit. Suffer now and live the rest of your life like a champion.”

Alicia is a champion! Not just for herself, but for others. She likes to be motivated to do something different every day. She enjoys being creative and she has a passion for excellence and success. She’s created a brand for companies where no brand existed in less than two years.

Her name is Alicia Jordan. She’s focused. Passionate. Determined. And results-driven. Alicia worked in various areas of the marketing industry for over 17 years. She is currently the marketing director for Belmont Savings Bank, and every day offers a different challenge for her. She’s a graduate of Bethany College with a Bachelor of Science in interdisciplinary studies and a minor in communications and business. She is a past president of the Sunrise Rotary Club in St. Clairsville. She is president-elect for the Wheeling Symphony Board of Directors, and she’s vice president of the Board for the St. Clairsville Recreation Center.

Alicia enjoys running and working out. Both provide an environment for her creativity to flow in a way that is different from her day-to-day. Her most creative ideas come during her runs. She enjoys working with people from all different backgrounds and seeing/helping them achieve their goals.


Karen Zengel ’99

Karen Zengel graduated from Bethany College in 1999 with a Bachelor of Arts in economics. After graduating from Bethany, she moved to the Greater Cincinnati area to begin her career in market research, forecasting new product introductions, and consulting with major manufacturers on their new product ideas. After 18 years in the market research industry, Karen made a leap of faith and entered the non-profit sector as executive director for St. Vincent de Paul in Northern Ky. 2017. Filled with the desire to share the love of Christ and a message of hope with those in need, Karen was excited to take on this opportunity to leverage her skillset in a new environment. Thanks to a generous community and network of over 600 dedicated volunteers. St. Vincent de Paul NKY directly served over 37,000 people last year, providing financial assistance and basic needs to those who were struggling to make ends meet. Teamwork is central to the work of St. Vincent de Paul. In addition, 17,000 individuals on average each month made a purchase of a low-cost item or participated in the ministry’s “voucher” program where they received basic necessities at no cost to them in a St. Vincent de Paul Northern Ky. thrift store. Karen is a committed member of St. Mary Parish and serves on the Safety Net Alliance of Northern Ky. Executive Committee. Karen feels blessed to be part of a loving, compassionate community.

Karen lives in Alexandria, Ky. with her husband, Don (Class of ’99), and three children (Emilie, Abraham, and Nora). She loves to spend time with her family and get in a good run as often as possible. She is excited to return to Bethany College, to catch up with dear friends, and to make meaningful new connections with people who share the love of her sweet alma mater.

Theresamarie Banks ’24

Theresamarie Banks is a senior at Bethany College majoring in interdisciplinary Studies focused on biology with a minor in music. She hails from Solon, Ohio.

She is a member of ΑΨΩ National Theatre and Performing Arts Society, co-founder, and president of Bethany College ASL Club (American Sign Language), captain of the Western Equestrian Team, and member of the English Equestrian Team. She is in the Tri-Beta Biology Honors Society, Music Club Vice President, and on the Bison: On The Spot! Improv Comedy Troupe.

Theresamarie writes and plays her own original music, playing around 30 instruments, and plans to release an album of her music in the summer of 2024.

She has recently been nominated to be Post Landfill Action Network’s (PLAN) board director focusing her efforts on aiding the Native American Youth in the Appalachia area through the expression of art and environmental change.

After graduation she aims to get her master’s in veterinary sciences focused on equine musculoskeletal research, pursuing physiotherapy and musical rehabilitation for horses.


Rachel (Samlall) Whitfield ’13

Rachel is the co-founder of Waterloo Street, a branding and website design agency based in Pittsburgh, Pa. Her agency specializes in crafting compelling brands and captivating digital experiences tailored to empower female entrepreneurs nationwide.

Driven by her unwavering commitment to championing women in business, Rachel, together with her sister, also established The Biz Collective in 2020. This innovative online platform serves as a directory spotlighting the diverse array of women-owned businesses in Pittsburgh, Pa., fostering collaboration and community.

Rachel is a proud alumna of Bethany College (WV), where she earned her bachelor’s degree in communications, laying the foundation for her successful career in the creative industry.

She currently resides in Eighty Four, Pa., with her husband Zack (Class of 2013), and their three energetic boys and yellow lab.

Panel Moderator
Diane Thompson ’82

Diane Thompson is a 1982 graduate of Bethany College with a Bachelor of Arts in English. 

She was self-supporting, working her way through college while participating in the campus newspaper and TV programs and serving as co-captain of the field hockey and women’s basketball teams. She was a member of the Kalon Society and the Society for Collegiate Journalists.

After graduation, Diane was a social worker advocating for adults with disabilities before changing her career interests to education, where she taught high school English and served as a middle school principal before retiring in 2021 as the assistant superintendent/director of special education and pre-school services. Today, Diane serves on the Belmont County CAC Board as well as the Belco Works Board that supports inclusive employment for adults with disabilities. She also works part-time as a substitute teacher and at the Howard Long Wellness Center as a front desk coordinator. Diane is married to her wife of 25 years, Beth Andes. Together they live with and love their two rescued Golden Retrievers, Andy & Gracie, and their ornery cat, Idgie (see Fried Green Tomatoes).

Diane loves Bethany and credits her alma mater with anchoring her life choices.


April 5
April 6
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Commencement Hall
31 S Loop Campus Dr
Bethany, WV 26032
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