Wonder Woman Wednesday

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We invite you to join us to learn more about women and leadership. Every Wednesday in March 2024 from 12:00-1:00 p.m. EST., we will be offering a complimentary webinar in celebration of Women's History Month. 


This series was created in collaboration with the CFAES Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion.

Theme:  A Symphony of Empowered Women

The theme for this year’s Wonder Woman Wednesdays is based on the poem “A Symphony of Empowered Women,” by Gabriel Cruz.  A symphony is defined as a harmonious arrangement (Merriam-Webster).  When women come together and empower one another, our voices blend together in a harmonious arrangement that changes the world.  Let us come together in harmony, to be a light and guide to others in this journey of life.  May we walk this journey together as one strong voice that empowers women everywhere.


A Symphony of Empowered Women

A symphony of empowered women, their voices loud and clear,

Their hearts filled with fire, their spirits never to fear.

They walk with grace, their heads held high,

Their journey through life, a beautiful, shining light.


They are warriors, fierce and strong,

Their courage and bravery, a story to be told.

They are leaders, guiding the way,

Their passion and drive, lighting the path each day.


They are nurturers, mothers of love,

Their hearts overflowing, sent from the heavens above.

They are fighters, champions of right,

Their unwavering spirit, a guiding light in the night.


They are sisters, bonded in grace,

Their support and encouragement, a warm and loving embrace.

They are friends, always there with a smile,

Their laughter and kindness, a joy worth a mile.


They are women, a symphony of strength and dignity,

Their grace and poise, a sight to behold and cherish eternally.

They walk with purpose, their journey never done,

Their hearts beating as one, their spirits shining bright like the sun.


So let us celebrate these women, and all they embody,

Their strength and courage, their grace and dignity.

For they are the heartbeat of our world, the foundation of our lives,

Empowered women, a true source of pride, in their symphony that thrives.  -Gabriel Cruz

As women leaders, we can individually make a positive impact.  However, when women choose to support other women's success through collaboration and promotion, we can change the world.  Learn how our slate of women leaders have become successful and who the people were in their lives that lifted them up and believed in their capabilities.   

Objectives of Wonder Woman Wednesday 

  • Build a support network 
  • Place to share experiences 
  • Develop your understanding of Women's Leadership 



March 6Yolanda Zepeda

Yolanda Zepeda, Interim Vice Provost for Diversity and Inclusion, OSU

Yolanda Zepeda is the Interim Vice Provost for Diversity and Inclusion. In this role, she leads a staff of inclusive excellence champions in the Office of Diversity and Inclusion (ODI). The ODI team of experts work to promote welcoming and inclusive spaces and practices across the university so that all students can fully participate and thrive. ODI programs support talent pipelines, equity and access, retention, mentoring, and leadership development for students, faculty and staff who reflect the rich diversity of our state and nation. ODI engages strategically with campus partners to advance inclusion and excellence through high impact learning practices such as education abroad, undergraduate research and internships, and community-engaged learning. Innovative workshops and trainings support leadership development and advancement of faculty and staff from groups underrepresented in the academy.

Yolanda has served in leadership roles in the Office of Diversity and Inclusion for more than a decade.  Prior to this appointment, she led academic and diversity initiatives across the Big Ten Universities as associate director of the Committee on Institutional Cooperation, known today as the Big Ten Academic Alliance.  She has also held leadership roles in the graduate schools at Indiana University and The Ohio State University.

Yolanda identifies as a Latina and Chicana. With deep roots in South Texas, she moved to the Midwest to pursue her education dreams. As a first generation college student, Yolanda benefited a great deal from mentors who supported her at every stage of her journey. And she is committed to doing the same for others. Beyond the university, Yolanda serves on the national advisory board for the Gates Millennium Scholars Program, the board for the Children’s Defense Fund-Ohio, and the Ohio Latino Affairs Education Committee. She was awarded the Governor’s Distinguished Hispanic Ohioan Award for her contributions to Ohio’s Latine community.

March 13Karla Zednik

Karla Zadnik, Interim Executive Vice President and Provost, OSU

At The Ohio State University, Dr. Karla Zadnik is the interim executive vice president and provost and College of Public Health interim dean. She served The Ohio State University College of Optometry as dean since 2014 and. She is a prominent patient-oriented researcher in the field of optometry and vision science. She serves as the lead dean for the seven health science colleges and chairs the Biomedical Sciences Institutional Review Board.

She received her OD and PhD degrees from the University of California, Berkeley School of Optometry and was inducted into the school’s Hall of Fame in 2023. Dr. Zadnik is also the Glenn A. Fry Professor of Optometry and Physiological Optics, an Ohio State Distinguished Scholar. She is a past president of the American Academy of Optometry and the Association of Schools and Colleges of Optometry and President of the National Board of Examiners in Optometry. She served a four-year term on the National Advisory Eye Council for the National Eye Institute/National Institutes of Health.

Dr. Zadnik was the Study Chairman for the National Eye Institute-funded Collaborative Longitudinal Evaluation of Ethnicity and Refractive Error (CLEERE) Study for 20 years and chaired the first-ever NEI-funded multicenter study based in optometry, the Collaborative Longitudinal Evaluation of Keratoconus (CLEK) Study. Her research funds from the National Institutes of Health total $40 million across her career.

March 20Nicole Nieto

Nicole Nieto, Assistant Vice Provost for Outreach and Engagement, OSU

Nicole Nieto is Assistant Vice Provost for Outreach and Engagement in the Office of Academic Affairs and Lecturer in the Department of Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at The Ohio State University.  Throughout her nineteen year-long Ohio State career Nicole has held positions in the Offices of Student Life, Human Resources, Research and Academic Affairs.  Working to create inclusive communities of belonging has always been at the core of Nicole’s work. 

Nicole has a PhD in Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies (WGSS) with a specialization in Folklore Studies from The Ohio State University.  She is a 2019 OSU Glassbreaker, an honor given to women who have advanced their careers at Ohio State while serving as mentors to other women. 

Nicole teaches courses in WGSS on popular culture, literature, leadership, and food.  She is also a Second Year Transformational Experience faculty mentor.  Prior to arriving at Ohio State, Nicole served as Assistant Director of International Student and Scholar Services at the University of Alabama.

March 27Trudy Bartley

Trudy Bartley, Associate Vice President for Local and Community Relations, OSU 

Trudy Bartley currently serves as The Associate Vice President of Local Government & Community Affairs for The Ohio State University. Representing the university with local government and community by establishing relationships with community leaders, participating in community organizations/activities and fostering community and university partnerships; monitors, researches and/or analyzes local government legislative and regulatory issues; responsible for developing high level strategies to create and strengthen local government and community relations; actively focuses on strategic university engagement and enhanced goodwill toward the university.  Represents the University on supporting the OSU work on boards, committees and ad hoc groups.

Chaired the Franklin County Board of Commissioners Poverty Taskforce, a group of 30 + Franklin county residents, public, private, and nonprofit leaders.  The yearlong process resulted in the development and creation of the County’s Rise Together Blueprint.   The Blueprint called “the people’s plan encompasses 13 goals and 120 actions to assist individuals in poverty with resources and opportunity to realize their ideas of success and a sustainable household.  The taskforce led to the Franklin County commissioners passing a resolution stating “Racism is a Public Health Crisis” as well as the development of the Rise Together Innovation Center a newly created  501©3 that will align resources and innovated ideas to lessen the poverty rate in Franklin County. Trudy currently is Board Chair of the Rise Institute.

As the former Executive Director and current Board Chair of Partners Achieving Community Transformation (PACT), an independent nonprofit organization dedicated to the comprehensive redevelopment of the Near East Side neighborhood of Columbus, Ohio; Trudy was responsible for spearheading the strategic implementation of the Blueprint for Community Investment, a detailed master plan focused on revitalizing the Near East Side. Distinguished by its bottom-up approach to revitalizing a historic neighborhood.

Prior to coming to the Ohio State University Trudy served as Deputy Director of Development for the City of Columbus. Following her career at the city she served as President of Diversified Development Group, a minority real estate development company and then moved on to work for the Ohio Department of Development, where she served as the Chief Operating Officer, as well as positions of Interim Director of the Minority Business Enterprise Division and Federal Stimulus Coordinator.

Since 2019 Trudy has been recognized  annually on the  “Power 100”  by Columbus Business First as a “Legacy Leader” for Central Ohio.  Currently serves on the Board of Trustees or a commission member for The Franklin County Parks and Recreation Board of Trustees (Columbus Clippers), The Columbus Downtown Development Corporation, Chair of the RISE Institute, Past Chair and Board member of Central Ohio Transit Authority, ADAMH, PACT, KIPP Columbus.  In her past board and commission appointments she served as Chair of the New Albany Community Authority, The New Albany Planning Commission, WOSU, River South Community Authority, Columbus School for Girls, YWCA, COVA, The United Way of Central Ohio and , Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission, The Neighborhood Design Center, and Chaired the  City of Columbus’s 2022 Columbus Charter Review Commission and Franklin County Commissioner’s Poverty Taskforce..

Trudy was born and raised in Columbus Ohio, a graduate of Columbus School for Girls and has a Bachelor of Arts in Economics and Political Science from Wellesley College. 

Questions? Please contact Kathy Lechman (lechman.1@osu.edu) or Beth Flynn (flynn.61@osu.edu).


If you require an accommodation such as live captioning or interpretation to participate in this event, please contact Jennifer Pettibone at pettibone.8@osu.edu or 614-292-3114. Requests made 10 days prior to the event will generally allow us to provide seamless access, but the university will make every effort to meet requests made after this date.  In person workshops venues are wheelchair accessible.  Automated captions will be available to all virtual participants and the Zoom platform is accessible.  Click here for the accessibility form.