Sheryl Lovelady, a professional with two decades of success working to recruit leaders, helping them win elected positions and serving with them, has been named the director of Women’s Leadership Initiatives at the University of Oklahoma’s Carl Albert Congressional Research and Studies Center.
“Oklahoma currently ranks 49th in the nation for the proportion of women in the state Legislature,” said Cindy Simon Rosenthal, director and curator of the center. “Our goal is to inspire women of all political parties to consider public service as a career. We are pleased to have Sheryl leading our efforts.”
Lovelady will direct several initiatives designed to encourage women to pursue careers in public service. The annual N.E.W. (National Education for Women’s) Leadership undergraduate program is in partnership with the Center for American Women in Politics at Rutgers University. The program involves training and presentations by some of the most successful women leaders in the state of Oklahoma. The Pipeline to Politics program works with women beyond college who are interested in political and other leadership opportunities. The Oklahoma Girls’ Voices Project works in partnership with youth-serving organizations focused on helping girls use their voices to make positive changes in their schools, neighborhoods and communities.
Lovelady will also contribute to the center’s civic education initiatives, such as Capitol and Community Scholars Programs for OU undergraduate students. Capitol Scholars get first-hand experience working in and around the Oklahoma Legislature to develop a greater appreciation of the public policy-making process. Community Scholars engage in hands-on service learning opportunities with nonprofit organizations and local government entities. Both groups of scholars earn academic credit during their internships.
“Oklahoma will move forward if women are at the table. Their voices redefine the dialogue, and they lead in a way that can transform the future of our state,” said Lovelady. “Our initiatives at OU motivate women to move from ideas to action.”
A native of Seminole, Lovelady began her career as a professional photographer before entering the political and government sectors. She served on the executive staffs of the Oklahoma Senate Appropriations Committee and the Senate President Pro Tempore. She also served as executive director of a statewide legislative caucus organization. In this capacity she provided oversight of fundraising, campaign and policy strategies for caucus members. She has worked with clientele throughout the United States as a strategic consultant, with a Washington, D.C., and a Florida-based public opinion research firm.
Most recently, Lovelady served as director of communications for the City of Tulsa. She is a graduate of Leadership Tulsa and the U.S. Department of Defense JCOC leadership program. She serves as president of the Gordon Cooper Technical Center Foundation and on the Board of Directors of the John Hope Franklin Center for Reconciliation.
OU’s Carl Albert Center is a unique resource for scholarship and research related to the U.S. Congress. The center promotes original scholarship by faculty and students into various aspects of politics and the Congress; serves as an important resource on the history of Congress, primarily through the Carl Albert Center Congressional Archives; fosters a wider understanding and appreciation of the Congress through a public outreach program, which includes lecture series, exhibits and publications; and develops academic programs in congressional studies at both the graduate and undergraduate levels, which are sponsored in cooperation with the Department of Political Science in the OU College of Arts and Sciences. For more information, visit the Carl Albert Center’s Web site at www.ou.edu/carlalbertcenter.
Source. LaDonna Sullivan, Carl Albert Center/OU,(405) 325-5406