Northern Michigan University student Madeline Wiles of Gladstone is one of 10 individuals selected to serve on the 2017-18 American Association of University Women National Student Advisory Council.
SAC members develop leadership skills and gain valuable resume-building experiences through campus activism projects, community outreach to AAUW student organizations and monthly conference calls. They also receive two all-expense-paid trips to Washington, D.C. The first is in November to attend an SAC leadership retreat at AAUW’s national headquarters. In the spring, they will serve as peer leaders at AAUW’s National Conference for College Women Student Leaders.
“I am honored and privileged,” Wiles said. “Knowing that hundreds of thousands of people across the country applied for this position and I was selected is extraordinary. I am still in awe that I have this opportunity to not only represent myself but the whole university. I think this council will be able to help me refine my leadership skills and bring women's issues to the community of Marquette. I am hoping this opportunity will further my skills in communications and open new adventures in the future.”
Wiles is a communication studies major with a double minor in Spanish and gender and sexuality studies. She is a student employee in NMU’s Multicultural Education and Resource Center and works as a teaching assistant with the Academic and Career Advisement Center. She has coordinated many campus events, including RAD: LGBT+ Defense Training, the university’s first Gender Fair and presentations on transgender patients in the healthcare system. Wiles is a member of the Gender Working Group, Diversity Student Alliance and the Student Finance Committee.
“Many students nationwide apply, and the selection committee was highly impressed by your leadership experiences and contributions to your community,” wrote Abigail Lewis, vice president of campus leadership programs at AAUW, in an acceptance email to Wiles. “AAUW believes you offer a unique perspective on student life that is a great asset to our organization. In return, we hope to provide you with leadership opportunities and tools to help you create effective change on your campus and in your community.”
Rachel Harris, director of NMU’s Center for Student Enrichment and Gender Working Group member, nominated Wiles for the AAUW National Student Advisory Council. The SAC was founded in 2002. According to its website, former members have achieved notable feats, from working on Capitol Hill to creating their own nonprofits.