SCOM Student Presents at Gulf-South Summit

Media Communication Studies student Nair Perez-Torres, along with colleagues from the FSU Center for Leadership & Service, delivered a presentation, “Making Space: Advancing Possible Futures for Female Leaders,” at the Gulf-South Summit on Service-Learning and Civic Engagement Through Higher Education conference. This conference took place in Auburn, Alabama, from April 15-17, 2024.

“This experience taught me project management skills as well as how to connect with different age groups and demographics through mutual understandings and goals,” Perez-Torres said. “Although I brought my own presentation to the table, it was enlightening to learn from more experienced individuals in this field and allowed me to network and ask them direct questions that I can apply in my own work that I do at FSU.”

The Gulf-South Summit promotes a culture of engagement and public awareness through service-learning and other forms of civic engagement. Perez-Torres presented with Brigid Shannon, Assistant Director of Community Engagement at the FSU Center for Leadership & Service, and fellow students Ta’lia Gordon and Hillary Harbauer on creating and sustaining third spaces for female leaders.

“Third spaces for female leaders are environments specifically created to support and empower women in their professional journeys,” Perez-Torres explained. “Some kinds of third spaces that have already been created/can be created are Womens’ Leadership Networks, Professional Development Programs, Leadership Retreats, etc.”

Nair (middle) with teammates Ta’lia Gordon (left) and Hillary Harbauer (right).

Perez-Torres’s work in third spaces extends far beyond the conference presentation. As a member of PeaceJam, she volunteers as a youth coach in elementary schools in the Tallahassee area, where she encourages students to develop creative, sustainable ways to support their communities.

“When you allow young leaders the third space to critically think, explore, and be imaginative and creative, they can come up with brilliant ideas and solutions on their own,” said Perez-Torres.