Dynamic Speaker Dr. Kern Foxworth
Cougar Women at Work met on Thursday, March 22 and heard a dynamic presentation by author, Dr. Marilyn Kern Foxworth, who is former faculty at Texas A&M, and now owns her own business, Kern Foxworth International. Dr. Kern Foxworth is an expert in public relations and advertising, especially concerning images of people of color. She wrote the much acclaimed book, Aunt Jemima, Uncle Ben, and Rastus: Blacks in Advertising, Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow. She captured the attention of every participant with her very first words, “I am on a mission.” Dr. Kern Foxworth’s mission is to acknowledge the unique contributions that women have made to history as well as encouraging women to 1. Elevate, 2. Negotiate, and 3. Evaluate.
Dr. Kern Foxworth’s advice to Elevate involves encouraging women to “reach for the moon and if you fall, you fall among the stars.” She said we should think of failure as something that happens along the way to success. She noted that if you have never failed, then you have not grown to your full potential. She says that it is how you deal with failure that determines your success. She encourages women to think big and set high goals for ourselves and our children.
Dr. Kern Foxworth urged women to Negotiate for what they want, including salaries and raises. However, she said money is not everything and sometimes you can negotiate for a better schedule or other perks. Negotiations are too important to just “wing it,” she said, and should be backed up with strategy and doing your homework.
The final point was for women to Evaluate themselves and their lives. Dr. Kern Foxworth suggested some provocative questions for women to ask themselves: What do you think you are communicating to people? What attitude are you giving off? What do you want people you meet to take away from meeting you? Although we are used to creating mission statements and strategic plans at our jobs, Dr. Kern Foxworth said we need to make one for ourselves and keep evaluating our progress toward our goals. Another area to evaluate is how much we are giving back and sharing with others.
Dr. Kern-Foxworth’s presentation was very exciting and dynamic. There was palpable energy in the room. Her passion and excitement for life and the well-being of women was quite contagious! She was able to give specific suggestions to several women in the room for advancing their careers and lives. She connected several people in room in oder to share resources, including football tickets!
This was the third meeting of Cougar Women at Work. Our numbers are growing and we hope to reach out to more women in the future. The group provides a networking and educational group for female faculty and staff on campus. Our next meeting is Thursday, April 26, at 11:30 am in the Women's Resource Center. We are pleased to announce our speaker is Rachel Eddins of the University Career Services.