New Alumni Initiative, WP2: William Paterson Women Pioneers, Seeks to Empower Women

Jhiree Davis Jones '06, MEd '13, Lazara Paz-Gonzalez '02, and Janelle Hall '11 were speakers at the Women's Empowerment Social Hour in March

A new initiative, WP2: William Paterson Women Pioneers, designed to provide educational, leadership, social, and cultural programs where the University’s alumnae can interact with and be inspired by others, launched during the spring 2024 semester.

“We are thrilled to announce the launch of WP2 to engage William Paterson’s vibrant alumnae community, and celebrate the power of women when multiplied,” says Jenna Villani, executive director of alumni relations. “We look forward to building this network and providing opportunities, such as networking events and lifelong learning programs, to further involve alumnae in the life of the University.”

Alumni Relations partnered with the Career Development Center to announce the new initiative during the Women’s Empowerment Social Hour held in March as part of the University’s celebration of Women’s History Month. The event featured three alumnae speakers—Jhiree Davis-Jones ’06, MEd ’13, a licensed professional counselor and founder and CEO of Cherry Blossom Healing; Janelle Hall ’11, CEO of the United Passaic Organization; and Lazara Paz-Gonzalez ’02, senior director of youth services, Hetrick-Martin Institute—and a student-alumni networking opportunity.

The first official event, a virtual webinar titled “Financial Planning: What Women Need to Know,” was held on June 4. Lauren Locker '79, CFP®, owner of Locker Financial Services; Stephanie Spies '17, CFP®, an Enrolled Agent at Modera; and Lesley Weiner, MEd '82, CFP®, a Registered Representative and Investment Advisor Representative for Cetera Advisor Network—three alumnae who are all certified financial planners—offered tips geared to helping women thrive and build financial knowledge and wellness.

Events will be hosted throughout the year and are open to all alumni. Alumnae who are interested in sharing their knowledge for various programs and events can reach out to the Office of Alumni Relations at