The Frances Perkins Scholars Association (FPSA) is an organization committed to providing opportunities for Frances Perkins (FP) Scholars. Since its founding in 1980, the Frances Perkins Program for students of non-traditional age has graduated more than a thousand highly accomplished women. By preserving traditions and encouraging interaction, the FPSA strives to forge and deepen close relationships between students, as well as provide leadership and professionalism to all FPs. The org also provides support to FPs in balancing their studies and interests at the College with their non-academic lives, articulating and representing matters pertinent to them, and maintaining communication channels among the Student Government Association, student body, faculty, administrators, and alumnae.
Stacey Ridel ’15 (pictured left), recent graduate and former Vice President of the group, speaks on what she enjoyed most during her time in the FPSA and the lessons she learned that carry through to her life today: “My time as VP in the FPSA definitely illuminated what I really wanted to do with my life, which is to support students. I never knew I was a leader until given the opportunity to be one. I utilize the skills I developed in the FPSA every day in my current job as a Career Services Manager for a trucking school, helping non-traditional students seize the most from their education.”
The FPSA is comprised of elected student representatives who plan programming, allocate resources, and support their fellow classmates. The organization and its members embody the ethos of the eponymous Frances Perkins, Labor Secretary and first woman ever appointed to the U.S. Cabinet—fearless, capable, tactful, and hardworking. The FPSA hosts events yearly to support the personal and academic careers of FPs, including specialized Orientation programming, holiday parties, a spring barbeque, annual campus shadowing opportunities (Frances Perkins Day), and ‘Making the Connection’ events designed to give students access to the full range of campus resources available to them.