Women & Philanthropy Inaugural Forum: Igniting Connections

Dear Women & Philanthropy Community,

We are writing to share that the Women & Philanthropy inaugural event scheduled for March 29, 2020 at UC Davis will be postponed to a later date in an effort to maximize public health safety amid the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. Ticket holders will receive an email from the Mondavi Center and refunds will be provided.

We have made this decision in consultation with UC Davis leadership and following guidance from the Yolo County Public Health Department to avoid large group events. Public health officials are advising people to practice “social distancing” to help them stay healthy and limit the potential for community transmission.

This is, however, just the beginning for Women & Philanthropy. We remain committed to our mission to unite women who wish to work together for the public good.

Thank you for your understanding.


Women and Philanthropy Inaugural Forum: Igniting Connections


Sunday, March 29, 2020

1 - 3:30p.m.

Mondavi Center for the Performing Arts

Reception and book signing to follow


Join us for our inaugural forum to ignite connections and harness the power of women working together for the public good. The new Women & Philanthropy community at UC Davis ignites women as leaders who inspire others to benefit lives. We’ll hear from dynamic women including LeShelle May, Helene Dillard, Alison Ledgerwood, Ellen Hartigan-O’Connor and keynote speaker, Lydia Fenet.



Lydia FenetLydia Fenet

Global Managing Director, Christie’s and Author, The Most Powerful Woman in the Room Is You

In her book, The Most Powerful Woman in the Room Is You, Lydia Fenet shares the secrets of success and how to channel your own power in any room. As leading benefit auctioneer in the country, she has raised over a half a billion dollars for more than 400 non-profits worldwide. As global managing director at Christie’s Lydia has trained all of the company’s benefit auctioneers for the past seven years.


Faculty Talks

Helene DillardHelene Dillard

Dean of the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences

“How a Love of Plants Helped Me Grow a Career”

Dean Helene Dillard’s love for science began with a curiosity for plants and animals, memorable fishing trips with her family and gifts of chemistry sets and microscopes at Christmas. Her family helped cultivate an early appreciation for education and plant pathology, which eventually led her to become dean of the number one agricultural and environmental sciences college in the nation. In this talk, she will share how her fascination with rot, spots, mildew and other plant diseases helped her rise through the ranks of academia in a time when female tenured professors were few.


Alison LedgerwoodAlison Ledgerwood

Professor and Chancellor’s Fellow, Department of Psychology

“Why Negativity Sticks and What to Do About It”

Why do negative events seem to stick in our heads so much longer than positive ones? And is there anything we can do about it? In this talk, social psychologist and TEDx speaker Alison Ledgerwood will share evidence-based insights on how the human mind works and a simple trick to boost positive thinking.


Ellen Hartigan-O’ConnorEllen Hartigan-O’Connor

Associate Professor, Department of History

“100 Years Before and After the Nineteenth Amendment”

Dr. Hartigan-O’Connor presents the multifaceted history of women’s struggle for voting rights. The Nineteenth Amendment to the US Constitution, ratified in 1920, stated that the right of citizens to vote “shall not be denied or abridged . . . on account of sex.” It was the culmination of decades of political work by diverse groups of women. Yet it left many American women without the vote and decades more work to do--work that has contemporary resonance.


Q & A with Lydia Fenet

LeShelle MayLeShelle May

Founding Member, Women & Philanthropy at UC Davis

LeShelle May is a highly accomplished computer engineer most recently recognized for her leadership and innovation in the development of software and web applications for CNN.