Retired NASA Astronaut, IBM Global Leader to Headline Southeast’s Power of Women Digital Summit April 28


Retired NASA astronaut Dr. Linda Godwin and IBM global leader Ashley AuBuchon-Arcand will present the keynote addresses at the Southeast Missouri State University’s Power of Women Digital Summit on April 28.

The half-day professional development event is an opportunity to bring together area entrepreneurs and philanthropists to raise scholarship funds while empowering, transforming and connecting with the next generation of colleagues and customers.

The tenth annual event will include dynamic and empowering speakers, including Godwin and AuBuchon-Arcand, both Southeast alumnae.

Godwin is an emeritus professor of the Department of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Missouri, where she still serves in an adjunct capacity. AuBuchon-Arcand currently serves as IBM’s quality transformation leader with the mission of driving operational and cultural change across a workforce of more than 300,000.

An expo will be held at 8:30 a.m., followed by opening remarks at 9 a.m. and a series of digital formatted sessions offered by Southeast’s own cadre of female experts in their various fields. The presentations are designed to be interactive with audience participation.

“We very much wanted to answer the call for what our audience is looking for: solutions to the challenges we all face, information to develop our careers, expertise in finances, methods to give back, and yes, in 2021, tips to take care of ourselves,” said Amanda Lincoln, Power of Women committee member and director of development for the Southeast Missouri University Foundation. “I’m so proud of the work this group accomplished so we could realize our 10thanniversary and do so in a safe and refreshing way while still delivering the quality of what our audience wants and the scholarships our students need.”

Sessions and speakers for for the Power of Women Digital Summit include:

  • “Innovation and the Human Connection” with Ashley AuBuchon-Arcand
  • “Panel of Champions” with Heather Nelson, Rekha Patterson, Mark Redburn, Julie Yankus
  • “Maintaining Resilience: Nursing on the Frontlines of a Pandemic” with Molly Eggleston
  • “Women, Wealth, and Wisdom Workshop” with Kendra Troncale and Jayne Schrader
  • “Dare. Mighty. Things.” with Kaci Heins
  • “Live Longer, Live Stronger” with Dr. Cheryl Mothes
  • “Why Wellness Matters: Empowering Women from Within” with Dr. Melissa Odegard-Koester
  • “Building Your Professional Brand” with Ashley AuBuchon-Arcand
  • “Steps to Success: The Path I Chose and Where It Led Me” with women leaders of SoutheastHEALTH
  • “How to Change the World and Support Women by Giving” with Tricia Jackson and Dr. Trudy Lee
  • “From SEMO to the Far Reaches of Space: How to Get Where You Want to Be” with Dr. Linda Godwin

The event will also include the Power of Women Scholarship Award Presentation, recognizing nine women attending Southeast who are full-time students and demonstrate a passion for a life of service.

This year’s recipients for the Power of Women Scholarship Awards are:

  • Sydney Dittlinger of Benton, Mo.
  • Grace Doherty of Ballwin, Mo.
  • Tori Ehlers of Elkville, Ill.
  • Baylee Etter of Auburn, Ill.
  • Emma Hurst of Marble Hill, Mo.
  • Clorinda James of Natchitoches, La.
  • Emma Sherrow of Dyersburg, Tenn.
  • Ciara Southard of Springfield, Tenn.
  • Shannon Strayhorn of O’Fallon, Mo.

Activities will conclude with a professional networking mixer. Community members and Southeast faculty, staff and students are invited to attend.

The annual Power of Women event was sponsored collaboratively by the Southeast Missouri University Foundation, Southeast Student Government and SoutheastHEALTH.

Additional sponsors include Edward Jones-Cheryl Mothes, Chartwells, H&R Block, KRCU, Missouri Department of Conservation, Perfect Fit Bra Boutique, Saint Francis Healthcare System, Realty Executives Edge – Terri Penrod & Associates, Arnold Insurance and Notre Dame High School.

For more information, visit, or contact the Southeast Missouri University Foundation at (573) 651-2332.