Empowerment of Women Through Storytelling

Shannon Hogan-Cohen empowers women through storytelling. Having earned a UI&U BA in 1999, she is a current Master of Science in Organizational Leadership (MSOL) student. Through her website, S.H.E. Share Heal Empower ….www.sharehealempower.org, she shares inspirational and heartfelt stories from women across all ages and cultures. Shannon describes the website this way. “We are a community of women worldwide who embody perseverance and have unimaginable human spirits.”

Her recently published book S.H.E. Share Heal Empower is storytelling at its best. Shannon takes us inside the lives of 24 women who have overcome great obstacles in life and who showcase their personal perseverance. Each woman has used her wounds as wisdom and their courage and fortitude to rebuild lives serve as pathways for transformation.

Shannon Hogan-CohenIn writing the book, Shannon says, “I met the most remarkable women worldwide who opened their hearts and shared their stories with me. Their experiences give me – and all women – courage  to continue, despite the setbacks life lobs at us. We learn we are not alone in our struggles.”

Shannon also created the S.H.E. Foundation, which awards grants to improve the health and well-being of its recipients through Career Development, Education and Health & Safety. All S.H.E. book proceeds go into the foundation.

Her next storytelling project is S.H.E. Shares. As she wanders the world, Shannon asks women one question: “If you could share a thought or message to women around the globe, what would you say?”


Read and learn more about Shannon and her future plans in the Q & A below:

What do you plan to do with your Master of Science in Organizational Leadership (MSOL) degree?

At this time, I plan to use the MSOL leadership principles and theories and couple them with my life experience to grow the S.H.E. Foundation. In two of my classes, the interrelationship of both ethics and leadership styles have been beneficial and given me new insights.

What led you to this program?

I graduated 20 years ago with a Bachelor of Arts from Union with an emphasis in Interdisciplinary Studies. I travel frequently as a freelance writer. Traditional brick and mortar schools were not an option, as I work remotely.  I chose Union because of the flexibility it offers. The online program has been ideal, coupled with thoughtful professors who understand the juggling act with course work and life work.

My first impression with the current Union environment came from the conversation I had with Wes Atchison, the senior enrollment counselor at Union who I initially spoke with. His enthusiasm and positivity got me excited about the accelerated MSOL program. The yearlong program felt like the right fit. Plus, the timing was perfect, as both my boys have flown and grown, and are attending universities in Arizona.

The accelerated program gives me the opportunity to advance my career and professional development sooner. My long-term goal is to obtain my Ph.D. Once completed, my MSOL will be a bridge into the Ph.D. program. I would like to enter into the Humanities & Culture concentration at Union and eventually teach at the college level.

If you could give a piece of advice to your 20-something self, what would it be?

My advice would be to find potential in the present. Live with an open heart. Everyone you meet can teach you something, but you must listen. Maybe work on being a bit more patient with yourself and realize being perfectly imperfect is good enough.

Who has influenced you the most in your life, and how have they influenced you?

My nuclear family inspires me to be a better version of myself daily. I feel fortunate to have a husband and two adult sons who not only support all my endeavors, but their wit and wisdom make me smile. They keep life fun and tolerate my text messages with random facts.


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