Inspiring. Honest. Engaging.

DAWN Rising, a monthly podcast offered by The American Council on Education, Delaware Women’s Network, provides women in higher education with opportunities to gain insight on a wide range of professional development topics through inspiring and honest conversations.


  • Episode 8:  The Path to Trauma Informed Leadership, the DAWN Rising Podcast Team chats with Carolyn Swora, a Trauma-Informed Leadership Consultant and two-time author.  In her latest book, “EVOLVE:  The Path to Trauma Informed Leadership”, she invites readers to examine their relationship with work and experienced trauma, both personal and collective, to create a new paradigm of leadership. Carolyn’s personal experience supporting her husband through his terminal cancer and coming to grips with her own turbulent childhood has enabled her to create a guide that helps readers examine themselves and their leadership styles to evolve the workplace. For more information, please see Carolyn’s full bio at https://www.carolynswora.com/about-me/

Episode 7:: The DAWN Leadership Summit Reflection: How to Lead from Where You Are featuring Yah Hughes, Assistant Dean for Student and Corporate Engagement at Delaware State University. In this episode, Ms. Hughes will provide a deep dive into some of the themes discussed in her DAWN Leadership Summit keynote address including how to cultivate your purpose and lead from where you are!

  • Episode 6: Difficult Conversations featuring Dr. Adrienne Bey, Professor and Director of the Center for Teaching Excellence at Wilmington University. In this episode, Dr. Bey unpacks what makes difficult conversations so hard, the consequences for avoiding them, and how to get through them successfully! 
  • Episode 5: Creating the Year You Want. Join the DAWN Rising podcast co-hosts for a round table discussion in which they share personal best practices for moving beyond New Year resolutions to create sustainable habits and achieve goals.

  • Episode 4: Polishing Your Personal Brand featuring Beth Robertson, Regional Managing Director of NFP and former HR Leader. In this episode, Beth will share the importance of building your personal brand and letting it shine through multiple communication channels.

  • Episode 3: The Journey to Confidence featuring LeaNora Ruffin, JD, ACC, Assistant Dean for Career Development at Widener University Delaware Law School and the Founder of Total Radiance Coaching, LLC.
    Have you ever struggled with imposter syndrome? Do you wish you could show up more courageously in your professional and personal life. Tapping into her own personal story and years coaching leaders, LeaNora shares how she cultivates her own confidence and provides strategies for building and sustaining confidence.
  • Episode 2: Better Together: How Women Cultivate Supportive Networks at Work featuring Dr. Nicole Romano, Assistant Vice President and Chief Human Resource Officer at Wilmington University
    Dr. Nicole Romano will share how she cultivates connection with peers, colleagues, and professional role models in order to both sustain her own professional growth and create highly functioning teams at work. Nicole will discuss how we, as women, can leverage our trusted connections and networks with other women to help each other navigate challenges, develop professionally, and offer support to one another.

  • Episode 1: Keeping it Real: How to Show up Authentically featuring Dr. Emerald Christopher-Byrd, Assistant Professor, Department of Women & Gender Studies, University of Delaware

Be authentic! Be true to yourself! As modern women, we’re no stranger to this call to action. But showing up authentic can be difficult as we navigate the pressures to fit in, to please others, and to reach higher levels of personal and professional success. In this episode, our featured speaker, Dr. Emerald Christopher-Byrd, Assistant Professor at the University of Delaware, Women & Gender Studies Department, will share how she incorporates authenticity into her career and relationships and will provide you with practical strategies for beginning your own journey to show up more authentically.


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