Virtual Speaker Series

The Women & Philanthropy Virtual Speaker Series informs, engages, and inspires UC Davis and the broader communities by sharing powerful stories of women in leadership working to make an impact.

We feature women faculty, alumnae and friends of the University who are changing their industries, organizations, and communities in profound and meaningful ways.

Join our community and stay updated on all our upcoming speakers and initiatives.


VIDEO: From Plant Pathologist to Dean: Nurturing Growth and Inspiring Change

Hala Kurdi Cozadd facilitated a conversation with Dr. Helene Dillard, dean of the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.

Blossoming beyond her childhood curiosities of plants, mold and mildew, their discussion explored her journey of collaboration and commitment from plant pathologist to distinct, multi-faceted community leader and retiring dean. 

Learn more from this 'spore'tacular conversation as Dr. Dillard shares insights, challenges and triumphs that have led to her legacy of positive impact on the UC Davis community and women in her field. 

VIDEO: Immigration and Refugees: A Closer Look

The Women & Philanthropy Speaker Series eighth event, Immigration and Refugees: A Closer Look with Raquel E. Aldana, Martin Luther King Jr. professor of law facilitated by LeShelle May on September 14, 2022.

VIDEO: Untangling DEI: Starts with the 4 A’s

The Women & Philanthropy Speaker Series seventh event, Untangling DEI: Starts with the 4 A’s with Vice Chancellor for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, Renetta Garrison Tull, Ph.D., facilitated by LeShelle May on June 7, 2022.

Getting Unstuck [VIDEO]

The Women & Philanthropy Speaker Series’ sixth event, Getting Unstuck: The Positive Side of Negative Thinking with Dr. Alison Ledgerwood, facilitated by LeShelle May on March 3, 2022.

Leadership in Higher Education: Flexibility is Key (VIDEO)

UC Davis Provost Mary Croughan joined LeShelle May for a conversation on the challenges and lessons learned while helping lead the university through the pandemic, and what changes are here to stay. The Provost also shared how her experience as a leader in academia and her training in epidemiology has helped her guide UC Davis during her first year as Provost.

Nutrition: Separating Fact From Fiction (VIDEO)

The Women & Philanthropy Speaker Series' third event, Nutrition: Separating Fact From Fiction with Dr. Debbie Fetter, facilitated by LeShelle May on May 12, 2021. Debbie shared her passion for nutrition, food, culture and who fed her interest for teaching nutrition in higher education. She also shared her philosophy of nutrition, pointing out that there is no one “right” way.

Art as Influence: Why It Matters (VIDEO)

The Women & Philanthropy Speaker Series' second event, Art as Influence: Why It Matters with Rachel Teagle, facilitated by LeShelle May on February 23, 2021.

Rachel shared personal stories from her career in the arts, what drew her to the role as Founding Director of the Jan Shrem and Maria Manetti Shrem Museum, the vital role art plays in our lives and the ways current events influence artists and museums.

View the full video below: