Center for Women's Leadership

What We Do

The mission of the Center for Women’s Leadership (CWL) is to provide an environment for building girls’ and women’s lives through enrichment, leadership development, and education. To accomplish this mission, the CWL is responsible for creating and conducting programs that help students develop and strengthen their leadership skills. We oversee three programs:

  • LEO (Leadership, Experiences, Opportunity) certification program for Cottey students to receive recognition and certification for their leadership efforts on campus.
  • The College's Leader in Residence program, which brings a woman leader to campus for several days every year to present to classes and small groups, and meet with LEO students, faculty and staff, and;
  • In collaboration with other girl-serving organizations, the Center for Women’s Leadership works to develop the leadership skills of area girls. These efforts include:

Contact Information

Helen and George Washburn Center for Women's Leadership
400 S. College (just south of Hinkhouse Center)
icon-telephone 417-667-8181, ext. 2204


Denise Carrick Hedges, Director, Center for Women’s Leadership 417-667-8181 x2204
For the past eighteen years, Denise Carrick Hedges has committed herself to leadership and educational opportunities for women and girls. Currently, Denise serves as the director of the Center for Women's Leadership at Cottey College and the facilitator for the Women’s Foundation Girls Leadership Program. Her degree in Interpersonal and Organizational Communication is from Manchester University in North Manchester, Indiana. Denise has attended training specific to leadership educators and is currently working on a Master of Arts in strategic leadership at Stephens College.

Robin Mallinson, Secretary, Center for Women’s Leadership, and Serenbetz Institute for Women’s Leadership, Social Responsibility, and Global Awareness 417-667-8181 x2116
Robin Mallinson received her Associate of Arts from Cottey College in 2007 and her Bachelor of Arts in family consumer sciences from Pittsburg State University in 2009. She is currently working on her Certificate in Organizational Leadership through Cottey College.

Leadership Assistants

Anita Kamwendo
Lilongwe, Malawi

Cottey Favorite: What I like best about Cottey is the supportive environment, and the focus student growth.

Personal Definition of Leadership: My personal definition of leadership is using your gifts to help others be the best they can be.

"I was born and raised in Malawi, a tiny country in Sub-Saharan Africa. I'm majoring in international relations, and I'm currently the president of Cottey's Model UN Club. I enjoy reading and writing in my spare time, as well as exercising and browsing the internet for cool recipes."

Cecelia Mackey
Calimesa, California

Cottey Favorite: I like that Cottey gives me the opportunity to be invoked in everything and anything and also the beautiful greenery on campus

Definition of Leadership: To lead others in a way that you would want to be lead.

For my future I would love to go into Elementary Education or Speech Therapy and I also love being active whether it is walking to the park, playing a sport, learning a new song on the piano, or going to a museum. I am involved in LEO, SGA, and Golden Key here on campus.

Morgan Brown
Citrus County, Florida

Cottey Favorite: Being here with all of my friends! I also love the food and the new Fine Arts Building.

My Definition of Leadership: Leadership is the process of people together attempting to accomplish positive change—morally, ethically, and justly.

I will be staying at Cottey for four years as a business major and art minor and I am going for a Certificate in Organizational Leadership. I am a Peer Listener at Cottey, a member of the LEO program, and I work for the Art Department and the Women's Leadership Center. Both my grandmother and my aunt also attended Cottey, and I am a fifth generation P.E.O. in my family.

Maria Campos
Nevada, MO

Cottey Favorite: Allowing me to have another family that I know is there for me besides my own family.

Personal Definition of Leadership: It is being able to lead a group without excluding someone and knowing when it is right to follow instead of being the one to be leading.

I am majoring in Health Science. I like to read, listen to music, swimming, and hanging out with friends. I'm also the Alphan Society President.

Grace Diaz
Houston, TX

Cottey Favorite: Opportunities and Diversity.

Personal Leadership Definition: Leadership is having the courage and acknowledgement that not always would she lead the team.

I'm a Guatemalan who likes to skateboard or go for a run outside and enjoy nature. I'm from the city so seeing a lot of trees and cows is exciting. I am studying on getting a degree in International Relations. Through the LEO program, Chicago Spring Break Trip, Work-Study Program, the Disciplinary Court Committee, and Model UN, I have been able to practice my leadership skills such as networking and being a team leader to encourage other and accomplish task together.

Campus Information
Campus Resources
Cottey College
For Women • By Women • About Women

1000 West Austin
Nevada, Missouri 64772
Phone: 417-667-8181
Fax: 417-667-8103
Admission: 888-5-COTTEY