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Parent Support Net - February 2016

Dear Parents,

What a difference a month makes! In January, the rain poured down; today radiates with heat and sunshine. I hope some of you got to see your son or daughter during the four-day holiday.

This season, God calls us to anticipate His death and resurrection. While we often think of Lent as a sober duty or an obligatory relinquishing of a treasured practice or habit, I consider it a time to offer ourselves anew to Him and align our desires with the greatest treasure: Christ’s sacrifice on the cross that paves the way for intimacy with God.

As you ponder and practice Lent, I pray you experience a time of spiritual growth that brings you ever closer to the living God.

We look forward to seeing you at Parents Weekend, March 11-12!








Teri Bradford Rouse ’77

Senior Director of Alumni and Parent Relations

Five Reasons Why COllege Women Generally Do Not Aspire To Positions Of Leadership

angelaBy Angela D'Amour

I have served as the director of campus life at Westmont for the past nine years, and I have worked closely with 1,000 leaders of student organizations during this time. Generally speaking, our students are eager to serve. Their faith informs their desire to contribute to the good of their communities, and this commitment is inspiring. However, when it comes to leadership, our students tend to be divided along gender lines. Our men are more likely to aspire to the top leadership roles within organizations. Over the past nine years, only two women have served as student body president, and I persuaded one of them to serve in a vacated post. This gender and leadership trend is not unique to Westmont. Women remain underrepresented in top leadership positions nationwide (Center for American Progress, 2014). In addition, college women generally do not aspire to positions of leadership after college. My research points to five reasons why college women lack this aspiration.

1) Leadership Appears Unattractive

Many women’s immediate perceptions of leadership focus on “being in charge,” “telling people what to do” or “being the best in one’s field,” which don’t align with most women’s desires to use their gifts effectively to serve others. Women often seek collaborative opportunities with shared leadership models, so they find the idea of being in charge or set apart unattractive.

2) Successful Women are Viewed as Less Likable     

Whether or not women are familiar with the many studies that reflect this finding, they tend to intuitively know that women who achieve success—particularly in visible leadership positions—are often viewed as suspect and possibly as arrogant or abrasive (Heilman & Okimoto, 2007). Women experience what Ibara, Ely and Kolb (2013) refer to as the “double-bind.” Female leaders who operate with assertiveness and self-confidence are disliked and accused of lacking stereotypical feminine traits such as kindness and gentleness. However, women who operate with kindness and caretaking are not perceived to demonstrate the necessary masculine leadership qualities deemed essential for success. These gendered biases can undermine women’s ability to develop their identity as leaders.

Pressure to be Superwoman

Most women feel pressure to get a good job, to serve others, to look good, to be a good friend and daughter and possibly to get married and raise children. Positions of leadership seem unnecessary and superfluous given all the existing roles to which women feel called following college.

Lack of Confidence

Anyone who is new to a leadership position will experience a sharp learning curve and will need to grow into some elements of the job. Women’s fears of failure and the likelihood of higher levels of anxiety sometimes preclude them from considering themselves for roles for which they don’t feel fully qualified. Women frequently undermine themselves as leaders by using defensive rather than offensive strategies and by relying on others’ support and approval for resiliency.

Lack of Effective Role Models

With fewer women in leadership roles, women sometimes can’t see themselves and their own lives reflected in leadership positions. In addition, roles have often been developed in ways that complement men’s lives and needs and do not accommodate working spouses, raising a family or taking care of a sick parent.

I am committed to empowering all our students to develop and hone their God-given talents and to prevent fear, lack of confidence, or perceptions about what women or men are “supposed to be like” from impeding their development. The college suffers when our students discount themselves from positions of leadership, and we miss the opportunity to provide them with tools and experiences to effectively lead in their churches, families, neighborhoods and workplaces beyond college. I believe providing the appropriate information and strategies to all our students can help them fruitfully explore future possibilities in realistic and aspirational ways.

On Martin Luther King Jr. Day, 40 first- and second-year women gathered for a women’s leadership seminar based on research and led by Student Life staff. This event encouraged Westmont women to envision new possibilities for leadership built around their values and passions for the full lives they hope to lead as friends, mentors, daughters, volunteers, and possibly as wives and mothers. While one seminar may not resolve these deeply rooted societal issues, it can serve as a step toward releasing students to think creatively and freely about their future life and leadership trajectories.


Center for American Progress. (2014). Fact sheet: The women’s leadership gap. Retrieved from: www.americanprogress.org/issues/women/report.

Ibarra, H., Ely, R., & Kolb, D. (2013). Women Rising: The Unseen Barriers. Harvard Business Review, 91(9), 60-66.

Heilman, M. E., & Okimoto, T. G. (2007). Why Are Women Penalized for Success at Male Tasks?: The Implied Communality Deficit. Journal of Applied Psychology,92(1), 81.


Barbizon, Realism, and Impressionism in France

barbizonWhile you’re visiting for Parents Weekend, you have the wonderful opportunity of viewing the Westmont Ridley-Tree Museum of Art’s stunning new exhibitfeaturing work by some of France’s most recognized artists.“Barbizon, Realism, and Impressionism in France” runsthru March 19 and includes more than two dozen works from the Lady Leslie Ridley-Tree collection.“This exhibition features many of the works painted in the Forest of Fontainebleau, but it has a wider scope, blending in a few canvases from other sites,” says Westmont Provost Mark Sargent.Read more about the exhibit on Westmont’s website and also gather additional insight and information in the Santa Barbara Art Blog. We’re confident you’ll appreciate this lovely exhibit.

Westmont in Mexico from a Parent’s Perspective

kyleby Doug Kyle ’80

Fall semester, another group of Westmont students studied with Westmont in Mexico. We thought you might enjoy hearing more about this wonderful program from a parent’s perspective. Doug Kyle ’80, who graduated from Westmont with a degree in religious studies and serves as lead pastor at Green Valley Church in San Diego, shares his thoughts. At Westmont, Doug also studied off campus with Westmont in San Francisco. Doug and his wife, Cindy, have sent all three of their children to Westmont. David, their youngest is a sophomore.

“How will we find him in the airport?” we wondered as we descended the stairs from the tiny airplane and walked across the tarmac in the dark. My wife and I had waited almost three months to visit our son, who was studying in Mexico with 18 other Westmont students. There we were in the unfamiliar night air of Queretaro, a place we had never heard of before David announced he was interested in spending a semester there immersed in its culture. The airport, it turned out, was as undersized as the plane. Happily, we spotted our son even before we cleared customs.

To be honest, we had all the usual parental fears about sending our son to Central Mexico. The stateside version of Mexican news focuses on drug lords, poverty and stomach ailments. But we had already sent our two older kids overseas with Westmont, and both had had the time of their lives. The accompanying Westmont faculty made their experience not only safe but extraordinary. So we put our fears aside and said a few extra prayers.

Every part of our experience in Queretaro confirmed the value of David’s global adventure. We attended classes, walked the plazas and even traveled with his group on a weekend excursion, seeing firsthand the richness of this opportunity. We enjoyed engaging classroom discussions, world-class art, late-night tacos, and a heartfelt, student-led Vespers service (thankfully in English). How amazing it was to watch our son, who simply endured high school Spanish, engage with the people and culture so effortlessly. The key was doing so within the care and support of the Westmont community. All this reinforced why Westmont puts such emphasis on global learning.

A few days later, we waited to board our puddle-jumper back to the U.S. The airport didn’t seem nearly as foreign. This was our son’s town, at least for now. And we were thanking God for granting such a remarkable adventure for David and for us.








Meet Our Students

angelaAs part of our ongoing effort to highlight Westmont students, we asked the athletic office to interview soccer player Angela Brown.

For my inaugural article about Westmont athletes, I present one of my favorites, although that’s tough to say when they all tie for first place. Meet Ange, a senior, four-year soccer player and kinesiology major from Menifee, a little city in southwestern Riverside County known as “the Fee.” I grilled her with rapid-fire questions and recorded her first answer.

Age? 21

How often do you call your mom? Once a week. (Is that true, Mrs. Brown?)

How often do you go home? Three to four times a year.

Hardest class at Westmont? Psychology.

Easiest class? Statistics, which I took at a junior college.

Recreational reading the past four years? Zip, nada, none.

Favorite food in the DC? Chocolate milk.

Favorite chapels? Alistair Begg and Kirsten Moore.

How fast did these four years go? As fast as the Xcelerator at Knotts Berry Farm.

What would you change if Westmont gave you an office in Kerrwood?

  • Make the pool Olympic-size to test my swimming ability
  • Eliminate the no-tree-climbing rule so I and others could test our monkey climbing ability
  • Decrease the number of emails sent to students and possibly use Twitter or Snapchat instead.
  • Add a kickboxing class.

What do you love about Westmont?

  • Community. I enjoy coming to campus every day because I see people—friends, students, staff and faculty—I love.
  • Expectation. You can’t be mediocre here; you are always pushed to excellence.
  • Being known. I love the small-town feel.
  • Knowing others.
  • Faith. This is my driving factor as my relationships at Westmont reflect Christ and the love He has shared in my life. I can speak freely about God, which is one of the greatest gifts I’ve received. ”
  • Location. Santa Barbara is hard to beat. (Every time she complains that the 60s are too cold or the 80s are too hot, we set her straight.)

That’s Angela Brown in a nutshell, a student well-loved in her classes, on her soccer team and in the athletics office, where she works. We will miss her greatly when she graduates in May, but we can’t wait to see where she lands and what she does in life.







Did You Know?

nivaProvost Mark Sargent has launched Vistas, a blog featuring a series of essays by professors and staff members. This month features pieces by Amanda Sparkman, assistant professor of biology, on metaphors in natural selection and Niva Tro, professor of chemistry, on the virtues of the liberal arts. Political Science professor Tom Knecht has written two essays on politics: “I’m in Waste Management” and “You’re Voting Wrong.” We encourage you to read these posts and learn a little more about out outstanding faculty. You’ll be able to hear an interesting talk by Professor Knecht on Friday afternoon of Parents Weekend and ask questions.

Enjoy reading the inaugural series of Vistas.


Important Links

Parents Weekend – Register NOW! We want to see you again and so do your students.

Parents Weekend Schedule – We’ve got you covered because your student will be busy with all things Spring Sing.

Spring Sing Information – Many important details you’ll want to know if you’re attending.

Spring Sing Tickets – Purchase those NOW too!

Westmont Bookstore – Shop for gifts & gear online!

Parents and Families – Find information specifically for YOU!

Campus Life – Find information about student-run organizations, clubs and ministries

Student Life – Find information for all student life offices, such as the Counseling and Health Centers, Career Development & Calling, and more

Westmont Athletics – See Warrior Sports calendars and subscribe to the Warrior Update

Westmont Counseling Center – Find information about counseling services available to your student

Westmont Ridley-Tree Museum of Art – Discover information about the museum and exhibits

iTunes U – Access the archive of Westmont chapels, lectures and events at itunesu.westmont.edu