Allegheny Student Mia Cota-Robles Rossi Earns Honors at NEW Leadership Training Institute

NEW Leadership PA institute
Students work on a social action project at the NEW Leadership Pennsylvania institute.

Allegheny College student Mia Cota-Robles Rossi attended the National Education for Women’s (NEW) Leadership Pennsylvania institute in summer 2018, earning a certificate of distinction — an honor granted to only one student by the program’s coordinators.

Rossi, a sophomore from Erie, Pennsylvania, received the certificate for her work on a social action project. As part of the experience, she delivered a presentation on the issue of gentrification from the perspective of a community activist.

NEW Leadership Pennsylvania is a weeklong “leadership and public policy institute designed to educate and empower young women.” Allegheny trustee and alumna Jennifer Daurora and the college’s Center for Political Participation helped to fund Rossi’s attendance.

“This was a really valuable experience, and now I feel motivated to get involved in local politics,” said Rossi, who plans to major in history and political science and minor in Latin American and Caribbean studies.

Throughout the week, students at the institute learned about the lack of female representation in politics. In doing so, participants had opportunities to meet with representatives in the Pennsylvania General Assembly, attend a networking event at the governor’s residence, and hear from notable speakers such as Dr. Rachel Levine, the state secretary of health.

Attendees of the program also met with Kristen Houser, the lead spokesperson for the Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape. In addition, they completed policy briefs on pressing issues facing society.

The NEW Leadership Pennsylvania institute is hosted by the Pennsylvania Center for Women & Politics at Chatham University. Allegheny graduate Dana Brown, Ph.D., serves as the center’s executive director and an assistant professor of political science at Chatham.