Luther College Chips

Luther alums offer leadership advice

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Luther alums offer leadership advice

Anjela A. Shutts ('93) connects with Cassidy Kahl ('21) at the reception following the discussion.

Anjela A. Shutts ('93) connects with Cassidy Kahl ('21) at the reception following the discussion.

Elizabeth Hand (‘21) | Chips

Anjela A. Shutts ('93) connects with Cassidy Kahl ('21) at the reception following the discussion.

Elizabeth Hand (‘21) | Chips

Elizabeth Hand (‘21) | Chips

Anjela A. Shutts ('93) connects with Cassidy Kahl ('21) at the reception following the discussion.

Elizabeth Hand, Staff Writer

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Four Luther alums Wendy Davidson (‘92), Angela A. Shutts (‘93), Kari Lyle (‘94), and Shannon Duval (‘95)participated in a panel discussion titled “Women as Leaders: Luther Alumnae Perspectives on Talent, Power, and Ethics.” They discussed women in leadership and their experiences in high-stakes leadership roles.

Professor of Accounting and Management Ramona Nelson (‘75) has taught in the economic and business department since 1990. She chose to invite these women to Luther because of their commitment to learning, questioning, and taking on challenges. Nelson feels all things can be accredited to a liberal arts education.

During the discussion each panel member shared information about their personal experiences in leadership. They also offered life advice to attendees.

Davidson had a long career with Tyson foods and is currently the president of Kellogg Specialty Channels in North America. She encouraged current students not only to be engaged with professors on campus, but also peers as well. She stressed the importance of taking advantage of opportunities when they present themselves.

“Have a seat at the table,” Davidson said. “But don’t just sit there, make an impact by using [your seat].”

Lyle is the managing director of the chief technology office for Deloitte Tax. She talked about flexibility in her experiences. Lyle said she had never planned on working in technology while studying at Luther, but an open mind led her toward a rewarding career.

“Be curious and trust your instincts, but know the consequences of the decisions you are making,” Lyle said.

In terms of her leadership style, Lyle urged students to understand the people that they are leading.

During an interview prior to the discussion, Duval shared how her college experiences helped prepare her for various leadership positions within the company. She credits her experiences in student senate, Nordic choir, and Chips with her ability to communicate well with others in the workplace.

“The nurturing of mind, body, and spirit was really foundational,” Duval said. “The outside-of-classroom application of Chips allowed a great spirit of discourse and allowed me to communicate well with a diverse set of people.”

During the discussion, Duval encouraged students to appreciate Luther as a family. She described her experience as a ‘balanced environment,’ which taught her to push past her boundaries.

“It is an institutional hug to support you and to give you a kick to know that you can do better,” Duval said. “Swing for the fences, be bold, and believe in yourself because you are well-trained here. There were a lot of people who cared about me and wanted me to be successful and learn, and I feel that to this day. No matter how far you go, the embrace of the Luther family is still there.”

For some of the women on the panel, the opportunity to speak to up-and-coming leaders brought them full circle to when they sat listening to a panel of women leaders 25 years ago.

Attendee Cassidy Kahl (‘21) is an aspiring law student. She appreciated the chance to hear and meet accomplished alumns and witness the great connections that can be made at Luther.

“The best advice was to keep striving for what you want, even if those around you tell you that you can’t,” Kahl said. “The four years of hard work and stress will be worth it because these women have shown me what great things you can accomplish.”

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