Facebook pixel STLCC Recognizes Four Female Presidents #WHM, Part One

STLCC Recognizes Four Female Presidents #WHM, Part One

A Special Series Presented by St. Louis Community College

Female leadership matters. Women are creative, passionate and collaborative. They bring forward solutions that drive change. 

Although women are often qualified for leadership roles, they’re still underrepresented at the top level of most organizations. At St. Louis Community College, however, that’s not the case. 

All four campus presidents are women:  Feleccia Moore-Davis, Ph.D., STLCC-Meramec; Julie Fickas, Ed.D., STLCC-Forest Park; S. Carol Lupardus, Ph.D., STLCC-Wildwood; and Elizabeth Gassel Perkins, Ed.D., STLCC-Florissant Valley. 

“We are fortunate to have talented women leading our campuses,” said Andrew Langrehr, Ph.D., vice chancellor for academic affairs. “Each brings unique skills, perspectives and qualities that help advance the mission of the College, and more importantly, help to serve our students. STLCC is a better organization because of their leadership.”

In celebration of Women’s History Month, STLCC is spotlighting the careers of its campus presidents through a series of stories. Read the first story below, and check back for profiles on STLCC's other female leaders. 

Spotlight on S. Carol Lupardus, Ph.D., campus president and chief academic officer, STLCC-Wildwood

Carol LupardusCarol Lupardus, Ph.D., began her role as campus president and chief academic officer at Wildwood in July 2019 after leading Meramec for three years. Prior to this, she served as vice president for academic affairs at Florissant Valley and as acting vice president for academic affairs at Wildwood. 

Lupardus joined STLCC as an assistant professor of teacher education in 2001. A lifelong educator, she began her career as an elementary school teacher in the Meramec Valley R3 School District. 

She holds a doctorate in educational leadership from Saint Louis University, a master’s degree in education from Saint Louis University and a bachelor's degree in education from the University of Missouri. 

Q&A with S. Carol Lupardus, Ph.D.

How can women develop their leadership skills?

Seek ways to improve your interpersonal skills because, in my opinion, they are critical regardless of the position you hold. It’s also imperative that you find ways to connect with others and communicate your message in a way that can be heard and understood. While technical skills are important, people skills matter more. 

Another way women can grow as leaders is through the support of a mentor or network. If you surround yourself with people who want the best for you, they’ll help guide you on your journey. 

Lastly, if you’re given the opportunity to step into a new role, take it. The experiences that challenge you the most will be the ones that help you develop your leadership capacity. 

Carol Lupardus at commencementWhat advice would you offer women who are on their personal leadership journey? 

Find a job that you love. If you’re passionate about your work, you’ll feel good about what you’re doing and you’ll excel in your role. 

I feel fortunate to have built a career that I love. Along the way, I’ve strived to remain calm, composed and kind in the workplace. By taking the high road, I’ve been able to build bridges and create consensus. This has been critical for me in my work as an educator, and I believe it’s a skill that would help women who hold other leadership roles as well.

What are three things you would say to your younger self?

  1. Personal goals are important because they provide direction. However, life is unpredictable. When you’re faced with an unexpected opportunity or crisis, try not to stress. Take a moment to evaluate the situation, be flexible and make the best decision you can with the information you have.
  2. Make each decision thoughtfully. The decisions you make impact people’s lives, so you need to consider the outcome with care before taking action. 
  3. Finally, trust your own talents. You have a lot to offer. Work hard and enjoy the journey. And don’t forget to celebrate your successes. 
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