Ruth G. Shaw Women's Leadership Program

Leadership development for Central Piedmont students

The Ruth G. Shaw Women's Leadership Program matches participating students with women leaders from the greater Charlotte community. Each scholar also receives a $1,000 scholarship. Mentors and scholars gather monthly over a period of seven months to discuss leadership topics.

Women mentors are identified, recruited and selected by Central Piedmont Foundation staff. Central Piedmont's Student Life staff invite, interview and select RGS student scholars each year.
Ruth G. Shaw Women's Leadership Program Class of 2020-2021 group shot via Zoom

"I used to be unsure of how one could stay so strong until I had the pleasure of being a part of the Ruth G. Shaw Women's Leadership Scholarship
program over course of this school year. The
conversations and topics addressed during these meetings empowered me more than I realized.
The Ruth G. Shaw Women's Leadership Scholarship program helped me to grow and has left me with a more defined vision of my future as a woman in business."

Maria Blaszyk, 2021 RGS Scholar

Natasha Feliciano, 2021 Ruth G. Shaw Scholar

Dr. Ruth G. Shaw sitting with two female Central Piedmont students
Dr. Shaw remains a loyal supporter of the college, and as a result of her generosity, Central Piedmont Foundation created the Ruth G. Shaw Women's Leadership Program. In addition to providing techniques students can use to navigate college and life, the program aims to:
  • Connect women to one another and to a supportive network of faculty, staff, and community mentors.
  • Inspire women to assume positions of leadership and to celebrate their individual and collective achievements.
  • Nurture women leaders by encouraging and demonstrating critical thinking, intellectual curiosity, and problem-solving strategies.
  • Foster a deeper awareness of the many roles women play and their contributions to society.
Four Ruth G. Shaw participants
Dr. Ruth Shaw, Central Piedmont's second college president, oversaw the development of comprehensive campuses throughout Mecklenburg County to accommodate the increasing needs of the growing community. As a result, Central Piedmont is now one of the largest community colleges in the Carolinas, with 56,000 students enrolled each year in college-credit programs.

Following Dr. Shaw's presidency at Central Piedmont, she served as president and chief executive officer of Duke Power Company, now Duke Energy. She served on the board and led community campaigns for both United Way of Central Carolinas, Inc., and the Arts and Science Council. Dr. Shaw holds a Bachelor of Arts (magna cum laude) and a Master of Arts degree in English from East Carolina University, and a Ph.D. in higher educational administration from the University of Texas at Austin.
2016 Ruth G. Shaw mentors and mentees
The program is limited to 12 women students who will participate in sessions, both with RGS mentors and separately with scholars.

In addition, through monthly luncheons and guided conversations with community mentors, the Ruth G. Shaw Women's Leadership Program offers interaction with college leaders, faculty, staff, and alumnae; personal and professional skill development; hands-on leadership development; and recognition of achievement. For their culminating activity, Scholars summarize and highlight their year-long experience through capstone class presentations.

For students interested in applying to be a Ruth G. Shaw Scholar, please visit: For more information on how to become a Ruth G. Shaw Mentor, please contact Vanessa Shelton Stolen at 704.330.6012 or via email.