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Women & Careers

Women & Careers Symposium 2021:

Retooling for a COVID Era Workforce

Thursday, March 4th @ 3 PM


The Women & Careers Symposium has been a signature event for the Women’s and Gender Equity Center and the Career Development Center since 2006. It is an interactive program with career preparation working sessions and networking and discussion opportunities that will increase student engagement and student success by supporting women’s career readiness and confidence. 

During these challenging times, we recognize the difficulty many faces when planning and preparing for their next step. The purpose of the 2021 Women & Careers Symposium is to address the career planning challenges that many are facing today.  

The goals of the program include:  

  • Introduce “Design Thinking” concepts for designing their career plan  
  • Inform participates of career challenges and solutions faced by women through personal stories 
  • Introduce ways to identify solution(s) to navigate career challenges in a post-COVID workforce 
  • Foster belongingness, connections, and relationships among women students, faculty, and staff 
  • Increase participator's self-knowledge and awareness  

Image of Dr. Portia Jackson Preston

Dr. Portia Jackson Preston is an Assistant Professor of Public Health at California State University, Fullerton.  She conducts research on multilevel approaches to self-care, and examines how stressors such as racism contribute to health inequity. She was a featured speaker at TEDxCrenshaw, where she gave a talk entitled "The Missing Ingredient in Self-Care". She works with organizations to prevent and manage burnout by fostering sustainable performance and resilience. 
Dr. Jackson Preston earned her Doctorate of Public Health from UCLA, her Masters of Public Health from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, and her Bachelors degree  from Stanford University. Prior to her career in academia, she worked for Deloitte Consulting and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, consulted for Susan G. Komen Orange County, and founded Active Steps Coaching.

Image of Dr. Amy Cabrera-Rasmussen

Dr. Amy Cabrera Rasmussen earned her B.A. and M.A. from CSULB, and her Ph.D. in political science from Yale University. She is a Professor in Political Science and Director of Design Your Long Beach, a program that facilitates students designing careers to positively impact our local community. She teaches and researches on U.S. politics and public policy and is a long-time participant in Just Environment Long Beach, a local environmental coalition.  She is also one of the founding directors of the American Political Science Association’s Institute on Civically Engaged Research and recently started the Guide for Politics blog to help people reflect and act on issues that matter to them. 

Image of Audrey Reille

Dr. Audrey Reille, Executive Coach and Speaker works exclusively with leaders in higher education administration. She helps them thrive by enhancing their leadership skills, gaining influence, improving professional relationships, reducing stress, and developing a strong and empowered mindset. 
She worked in college administration for over ten years and developed a deep understanding of the world of higher education. She holds multiple coaching certifications, leadership program certifications, and earned an M.B.A. and Doctorate Degree (Ed.D.) in Educational Leadership, with a concentration in Higher Education Administration from USC.
Her areas of expertise include strategic planning, peak performance, positive mindset, emotional intelligence, compassionate leadership, mindfulness, and self-empowerment. Her coaching practice is built on integrity, authenticity, excellence, and a heart-centered approach to success and service. 
For more information, articles, videos and coaching programs visit the website and connect on LinkedIn  or Twitter.


  1. Welcome and Introductions
  2. Keynote - Dr. Portia Jackson Preston
  3. Introduction to Life Design Approach - Dr. Amy Cabrera-Rasmussen
  4. Breakout Session - Facilitated Design Your Life activities
  5. Closing Keynote - Dr. Audrey Reille
  6. Optional Activity - Speed Friending – Beach Pride Events

Design Your Life

Life design is an approach to future planning that provides people with a toolkit of mindsets and methods to build one’s way toward a fulfilling life and career. This includes encouraging and enabling students to try things and test out ideas, consider the possibility of multiple paths, and explore options such as internships and service learning that can give them useful information about their future professional life. Participants will engage in Life Design activities to explore the possibilities of multiple career paths.

This approach is the foundation for Design Your Long Beach, a CSULB program, that facilitates students’ designing their way toward careers to positively impact our local community. We empower students to be bridges and changemakers. We work to ensure that our social impact, locally conscious, and equitable approach to post-graduation success can reach all students whether in class, online, or in dedicated programming. Find more information about Design Your Long Beach at this website.


The Women & Careers Symposium Toolkit is an accumulation of relevant and helpful information and resources for students planning a career pathway and practicing self-care.

Report Icon  Economic Reports 

Calendar Icon  Passion Planner   

Checklist Icon  Self-Care Kit


Disability-related accommodation for faculty and staff:

If you are needing any reasonable accommodation based on a disability or medical restriction to access this program, please contact the Office of Equity & Diversity ( as soon as possible so we can assist you prior to the program.

Disability-related accommodations for students:

To request disability-related accommodations, complete the Bob Murphy Access Center Event Request Form.