EmpowHER Selects ATU Alumna for 2020 Cohort

Lydia Grate
Arkansas Tech University alumna Lydia Grate has been selected for a national women's empowerment program. (Photo courtesy of Jacob Slaton and the Clinton School of Public Service)

Arkansas Tech University alumna Lydia Grate has traveled the world. Now she is ready to apply what she has learned in support of others here at home.

Grate is one of 39 women from around the United States selected to the B.A. EmpowHER 2020 cohort. The eight-week program will allow her to perform internships for Heifer International and Global G.L.O.W. (Girls Leading Our World). She will also network with her fellow cohort participants, gain access to field-specific mentors, receive career coaching and develop her leadership skills.

“I have now spent the majority of my adult life overseas — from 2011 to 2019 —- and I hope to contribute a somewhat worldly perspective to the EmpowHER cohort and program,” said Grate. “One of our application questions was: ‘how will you change the world?’ To which, I responded: ‘I will change the world by working with global leaders to advance opportunities for business, professional and academic collaboration.’”

A 2011 graduate of ATU, Grate earned degrees in public relations, broadcast journalism and speech communication with minors in business and history. She was named the 2011 recipient of the Margaret Young Award, which is presented annually to the most outstanding senior female student at ATU.

Grate served as president and public relations and recruitment officer for Students In Free Enterprise (SIFE) during her time at ATU. Originally from Pottsville, she also belonged to the Society of Professional Journalists, the Public Relations Student Society of America and the forensics program at Tech.

Her other affiliations at Arkansas Tech included student radio station KXRJ 91.9 FM, the Arkansas Tech student television station, Student Government Association, Volunteer Action Council and the university standing committee for guidance and counseling.

Grate earned the Dr. Robert Edwards Book Scholarship, a Dean’s Scholarship, a departmental performance scholarship and multiple Dean’s List awards at Tech.

Following her graduation from ATU, Grate served in the Peace Corps in the African nation of Togo. She went on to live and work in the Bahamas, the Dominican Republic, France, New Zealand and Australia during her eight years abroad. Grate returned to the U.S. in 2019 to begin pursuit of a master’s degree through the University of Arkansas Clinton School of Public Service.

The EmpowHER program that Grate is involved with during summer 2020 was founded eight years ago. The initiative has grown from an initial cohort of three women in 2012 to count 114 individuals among its alumnae.

“One thing I hope to gain from my experience in the EmpowHER program is a tribe of daring women,” said Grate. “Members of this cohort are doing big things. I am grateful to be connected with them and equally inspired.”