The Center for Women’s Intercultural Leadership

At the Center for Women’s Intercultural Leadership (CWIL) we are educating and empowering women to be leaders in their local and global communities. We provide women with the knowledge, skills, and cultural competencies to create meaningful change in the world through inclusive and justice-based programs. Inspired by the Sisters of the Holy Cross’ commitment to end intolerance, inequity, and gender discrimination, our goal is to cultivate more just, equitable, and inclusive communities. To reach that goal, we work with local community members and leaders, Saint Mary’s students, faculty, staff, and international partners to empower women across the globe—socially, politically, and economically.

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Empowered Alumnae

  • Angeline Barthel Studying abroad in Spain for a year was an unforgettable experience that gave me the language skills I was seeking. Leaving your comfort zone is so important to realize there is so much more out there! An immersive experience is the best way to learn a language and truly learn about a different culture. Angeline Barthel ’19
  • Kathryn Mathews Studying abroad and being a part of the Global Women’s Leadership SUSI program shaped my life’s vocation and purpose. After studying abroad in Rome and meeting the incredible women from the Middle East and North Africa in SUSI, I knew I wanted to work in the field of International Higher Education. Kathryn Mathews ’17
  • Shayla O'Connor My participation in Global Intercultural Dialogue events, which brought together students from women’s colleges across the world to promote international peace and understanding, was featured at the NAFSA annual conference in June 2021. Studying abroad inspired me to attend American University’s master’s program in International Relations. Shayla O'Connor ’21
  • Ilaf Sabah The Global Women’s Leadership SUSI experience broadened my knowledge about cultural diversity, human rights, and women’s rights. I am now an engaged activist who is passionate about pressing issues the Kurdish community faces, and am the vice curator of Global Shapers Community (Erbil Hub). Ilaf Sabah ’19
  • Elise DeSomer SPARK taught me how to make my dreams possible. It's given me the background and foundation to use the skills I already have to forward my independence. Elise DeSomer ’17
  • Estephanie Aguilera Contreras There are so many takeaways from SPARK. If I had to only choose one, it would be that it has helped me organize my ideas into goals, and create a plan for those goals. There were many pieces to running a business that either I had not considered and/or that I didn’t have a good grasp on. SPARK helped me become more strategic and excited for MY future! Estephanie Aguilera Contreras ’19