Women’s History Symposium: A spectrum of excellence

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Ericka A. Woolever
  • 350th Spectrum Warfare Wing
"For the last few years, my goal has been to be the leader I wanted to see as a young Airman and officer,” said U.S. Air Force Lt. Col Kera Rolsen, 350th Spectrum Warfare Wing director of staff. “I come from combat aviation and 20 years ago, we had little to no female leaders or mentors to look up to and I always wished I had a mentor who understood the challenges I faced.”

Recently, members from the 350th SWW gathered for the first Women’s History Month Symposium at the Bayview Conference Center. The event brought members together to celebrate the achievements and contributions of women, while also exploring the history of women’s contributions to the Armed Forces and discussing the barriers they still face.

“I'm so excited to be in a position where I can create an event that bring us together so our enlisted, officer, and civilian Airmen can network and find mentors who represent them,” said Rolsen. “I'm also excited that we can create an event that celebrates the achievements of women in the 350th SWW as well as throughout the history of the U.S. Air Force.”  

The event included a guest speaker, mentoring sessions for leaders at all levels and an opportunity to openly discuss barriers to service, promotion, and work life balance.
“One of the best parts of the symposium was all the new information I learned and being able to hear women openly discuss the unique challenges they face especially relating to women’s health which was really interesting,” said U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Eddylou K. Potts, 350th SWW self-assessment program manager.
The symposium was opened by U.S Air Force Col. Josh Koslov, 350th SWW commander.

“In events like this, we are focusing on readiness, eliminating our biases, and growing as individuals and leaders,” said Koslov. “We’re also looking to identify future barriers we need to fix so we can continue to build a force that’s representative of our nation.”

Members from all ranks joined the symposium and gained a new knowledge about their importance here at the 350th SWW.

“People are the heart of the 350th SWW and our mission,” said Michele Kerlin, 350th SWW deputy director of staff.  “As an organization, it is our responsibility to provide our people with opportunities to grow and develop personally and professionally.

‘Events like the Women’s History Month Symposium are an integral part of that plan. By celebrating the uniqueness’s and differences among members of our team with these types of events, we learn more about each other and ultimately become stronger as a team.”