By Liz Warren-Pederson


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Wilma is confident networking in her new suit.
Photo by Gaizka Urreiztieta.

Eller undergraduates successfully campaigned to get Wilbur the Wildcat a business suit last year. Now, through the efforts of the College’s Professional Development Center, Wilma has traded in her cheerleader’s uniform for interview-ready attire.

The mascot revealed her new professional look at the College’s annual Ordinary Women Doing Extraordinary Things Networking Tea at the Arizona Inn.

Over 150 women gathered for the event, which recognizes the accomplishments of hard-working women in Tucson and surrounding communities, as well as Eller’s 50 collegiate women of the year. Last year, Wilma T. Wildcat was among the honorees.

“Last year, Wilma attended our networking tea in her cheerleader uniform,” said Pam Perry, associate dean of Eller undergraduate programs. “That she attended in a suit this year sends a powerful message about women being viewed as professionals.”

The effort to outfit Wilma in professional dress was part of a wider campaign by the Eller College Professional Development Center (PDC) to build awareness among students of professional best practices as they prepare to interview for internships and full-time jobs. The PDC has documented Wilma’s professional journey seeking career counseling and resume help on its Facebook page.

Honorees at this year’s tea included Kerstin Block of Buffalo Exchange, Nicollette Daly of the Southern Arizona Foodbank, Kristen Hernandez of the Girl Scouts, Nancy McClure of CBRE Brokerage Services, Risa Noble with UA Health Network; Roxan Olivas of the MDA, Katherine Orlick of Foothills Dermatology; Andrea Randall of Lodge at Ventana Canyon; Kerry Stratford of Caliber Group; Lori Stratton of Diamond Children’s Hospital; and Melissa Vito of the University of Arizona.

Top image by Gaizka Urreitieta.