On April 13,
2018, IUP’s Eberly College of Business and Information Technology, along with the IUP Alumni Association, co-hosted the university’s annual Women’s Leadership Panel. Held at the Hilton Garden Inn, the event featured a precursory networking session
between panel guests and attendees, a breakfast session, and an hour-long open panel discussion.
A diverse group of over 60 IUP students attended all three sessions that day, including students from the Eberly College of Business and Information Technology, IUP’s Journalism and Public Relations Department, and IUP’s ROTC unit. This year, the Women’s
Leadership Panel hosted four, highly-accomplished IUP alumnae with varied and interesting professional backgrounds to serve as official panel speakers. Included in the panel were Susan Cosper ’92, Rose Dill Glenn ’82, Patricia Rozsas Neral ’81, and
Leslie Miller Purser ’80.
Cosper is the current FASB technical director and chairman of the Emerging Issues Task Force. The FASB is a private, not-for-profit organization whose primary objective is to establish and modify generally accepted accounting principles within
the United States. During her term as technical director, Susan has not only overseen changes to corporate revenue accounting, lease accounting, and efforts to work towards convergence between the FASB and the IASB, but has also promoted diversity
and inclusion within her profession. Prior to serving as FASB’s technical director, she served as a partner with PricewaterhouseCoopers, LLP in New York City, and was the first female partner at PWC’s Pittsburgh offices. She currently lives in Fairfield,
Connecticut, with her husband, Brian.
serves as senior vice president of Communications and chief experience officer of Detroit’s Henry Ford Health System. Her career, which has been a combination of health care, strategic management, and public relations, has spanned over 30 years.
In 2011, Rose was a member of a core team that helped the Henry Ford Health System receive the 2011 Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award, a recognition given to organizations in the business, health care, education, and nonprofit sectors for performance
distinction. That same year, she was the recipient of George Washington University’s Henry D. Paley Award for her achievement of class valedictorian in the Graduate School of Political Management. Besides holding a position at the Henry Ford Health
System, Rose is also president-elect of the Society for Healthcare Strategy and Marketing Development, which is part of the American Hospital Association. She currently lives in Northville, Michigan, with her husband, Todd. They have two adult children,
Chelsea and Trevor.
had worked at IBM until her recent retirement in 2014. Over the span of her professional career, which lasted over 30 years, she held both staff and management positions in human resources disciplines. Within the human resources field, she held
positions in compensation, talent, diversity, benefits, employee relations, and workforce analytics sectors. Prior to her retirement, Patricia had not only earned her certification as a senior HR professional from the Society for Human Resources Management,
but also served as a senior manager responsible for maintaining IBM’s Human Resource Data Warehouse, which held data on approximately 400,000 employees from over 120 countries. She has been married to fellow IUP alumnus Chuck Neral, a 1980 Computer
Science graduate, for over 36 years, and has two adult sons, Charles and Christian.
Miller Purser was awarded her commission as a second lieutenant in the US Army upon graduation, and was recognized as a Distinguished Military Candidate. Over a career spanning 37 years, from her graduation from IUP to her official retirement
in 2017, Leslie held command and staff positions in the United States, Europe, and Iraq. She has been awarded two Distinguished Service Medals, four Legions of Merit, the Bronze Star, and the Iraqi Campaign Medal. Prior to her retirement in 2017,
Leslie held the position of principal deputy assistant secretary of the Army for Manpower and Reserve Affairs. During her tenure in the position, she oversaw Army manpower, training readiness, mobilization, recruitment, marketing, and diversity issues.
Currently, she lives in Dandridge Tennessee, with her husband, Joseph, who is also a retired Army officer. They have two adult children, Jennifer and Justin, both of whom are Army captains.
The panel session was formatted in an open-discussion style. Both student and administrative attendees posed questions to the panel guests, all of whom offered anecdotal and detailed answers. Questions ranged from asking about how
the panel speakers received their current positions, to how the panel speakers balanced their careers and their families simultaneously, and any hardships they faced as women in the workforce.
The panel guests spoke at length about their experiences
as women breaking into traditionally male-dominated careers decades ago, and
how they either dealt with both covert and overt sexism throughout their
careers and/or how they were supported as women in their fields. What was truly remarkable about these women,
apart from their personal and professional accomplishments, was their combined commitment to enhance the quality of their professions by promoting diversity and inclusion throughout their careers. Though women have made great strides in effecting
equal-opportunity workforce policies that placed them on par with their male counterparts, conditions can still be improved for women entering the workforce fresh out of university—all four of the panel speakers played large roles in their respective
industries in paving paths to success for future generations of women.
Kiran Sharma, senior accounting student, appreciated the program. In talking about her experience with the program, Sharma shared, “The breakfast and leadership panel may have lasted less than two hours, but for the young women who attended, the wisdom
imparted by the four panel speakers will likely serve us well throughout their professional careers. The speakers—Susan Cosper, Rose Dill Glenn, Patricia Rozsas Neral, and Leslie Miller Purser—proved themselves to be excellent role models for women
entering the workforce in any industry. It’s interesting to realize that years ago, these women were little different from the young women who attended the Women’s Leadership Panel this year—excited, uncertain, and nervous about their futures as they
neared graduation. And it’s thrilling to think that among the students who attended this year, there could be future CEOs, upper-level managers, accounting firm partners, IT project managers, educational professionals, and other highly accomplished
women who have both the capability and confidence to take their careers to previously unimaginable levels. Much like the four alumnae who attended the Women’s Leadership Panel this year, it’s my hope that, in the future, those who attended the event
will bring forth change within their respective industries, and will strive to inspire women of future generations for years to come.”
“It was a pleasure to host these four accomplished women for our panel program this year,” said Cyndy Strittmatter, who oversees the Women’s Program for the Eberly College of Business and Information Technology. “We were proud to
co-sponsor this with the IUP Alumni Association and to have students from across the campus join us in an informative, engaging, and inspiring program.”