Dr. Penny Briese, the Golden Z Club, and All That They Do

One of the great things about the University of Jamestown is our student involvement on all levels. We have a number of impressive clubs, one of them being the Golden Z Club. The Golden Z Club is an extension of Zonta International, an organization that has dedicated its efforts towards improving the lives of women and girls through advocacy, education, networking and service. Zonta is well established worldwide and has clubs in 62 countries, including one here in Jamestown. To learn more about this great group and their contributions I sat down with Dr. Penny Briese, club advisor and professor here at UJ. 

Dr. Briese described the Golden Z Club as the “university version” of Zonta International. The club has been going for a few years now and its purpose is to prepare women for leadership roles in their professional careers by giving them experience. In the past these experiences have included events like their 16 days of activism. This event takes place in the weeks between thanksgiving and winter break. During the 16 days of activism the club brings awareness to a social injustice issue. This year they brought awareness to domestic violence in hetero and homosexual relationships by putting up posters all over campus that share relative statistics. One of their charitable events includes selling yellow roses during Valentine’s Day and at plays in the Reiland Fine Arts Center. With those funds they hope to purchase one solar water purifier for a family in need. After exceeding expectations last year, they were able to purchase two purifiers. With your help they can donate two more this year. 

Another way they help lookout for our community is the North Dakota Period Project. Dr. Briese says, “We know how expensive feminine hygiene products are. So, we are trying to ease the burden by packing pencil cases filled with feminine hygiene products to provide for UJ, JHS and grade schools here in Jamestown.” The club is very proud to serve in a big sister role in their community. For this event the Golden Z Club is partnering with the Jimmie Jane’s to help as many young lady’s as they can. For more information on how you can get involved please check out the poster below! 

The Zonta club of Jamestown also provides scholarship opportunities like the Young Woman in Public Affairs Scholarship for women that are active in their community, the Amelia Earhart Fellowship Scholarship for women in aerospace engineering and space sciences, and many more. Zonta International fundraises for these scholarships and provides them for the local population as well as nationally and internationally opportunities. One of their scholarships that is available locally at the University of Jamestown is the Women in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math Scholarship. Dr. Briese said it best, “Heaven knows we have great women in our engineering and math and science programs.” 

Currently, the Golden Z Club is without a president and is looking to add new members at a moment’s notice. When I asked Dr. Briese what message she would give to those considering joining a club she said this, “Join the Golden Z Club! You can truly make a difference at a national and international level. I’ll get your name out there.” It’s a great opportunity for young women to prepare themselves for being in leadership roles after graduation. You’ll learn great things such as what it’d be like to be on the board of directors and how to navigate the obstacles that women face in the working world. After a great conversation with Dr. Briese it’s clear that she’s passionate and dedicated to this cause and it’ll be great to see what they accomplish next. 

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