Proenza's wife speaks to Women in Higher Education

“There are two ways of spreading light; to be the candle or the mirror that reflects it. Edith Wharton’s words became the theme for the Women in Higher Education 20th Anniversary kickoff breakfast. One woman who attempted to spread light on Tuesday was Theresa Proenza, the wife of university president Luis Proenza.”

There are two ways of spreading light; to be the candle or the mirror that reflects it.

Edith Wharton’s words became the theme for the Women in Higher Education 20th Anniversary kickoff breakfast. One woman who attempted to spread light on Tuesday was Theresa Proenza, the wife of university president Luis Proenza.

Utilizing three news articles to characterize her speech, she began by telling the story of Iraqi architect Zaha Hadid, who is planning a premier art museum in Italy. This unconventional rags-to-riches story led Proenza to her own interpretation of what it means to women in higher education.

To me, this talks about new landscapes for women, she said. Proenza praised the initiative taken by Hadid, and supported women-owned enterprises.

Proenza’s second article, from the Wall Street Journal, Capital Ideas: Women entrepreneurs have an increasing number of places to reach out for funding built on the notion of the rising number of women entrepreneurs in the world.

Just by enabling women to grow their own businesses helps them achieve success, Proenza said.

She also brought up the situation of women in the workplace. According to Proenza, half of the workforce and one-third of business management positions are now held by women, yet significant pay disparities between genders are quite common. In fact, three-fourths of the people living in poverty are women and children.

Proenza does not give up hope, however. Her beliefs were brought to life in a quote from her husband: Whatever you do or dream, you can win it.

She finished her speech with an article published in The New York Times titled How Do You Move a Career Into High Gear? By Breaking the Rules. Simone Dinnerstein, an up-and-coming concert pianist, is known for her catch phrase, If you don’t like it, you don’t like it.

According to Proenza, this famous pianist struggled until the age of 34, when her self-produced album became a major record label – she accomplished it by literally breaking every rule in the book. Proenza spoke of her admiration for Dinnerstein’s moving a career into a high gear.

I want to encourage women to be part of this organization (WIHE) who are involved with higher education, Proenza said. Most of the students don’t even know this organization is open to them.

In addition to an MBA, her resume includes numerous community, educational and charity work.