College & University Reviews on Women’s Leadership and Female Keynote Speaker Maria Pascucci

It was so wonderful having Maria as a Keynote speaker at the University of North Georgia’s Student Conference on Leadership in September 2019. Maria’s story is relatable to her audience and her message is timely with the challenges that students and leaders are faced with today in our fast-paced, pressure-filled, and instant gratification driven society. She encourages students to live authentically and from a holistic perspective.

The overwhelming response of students to Maria’s keynote presentation and workshop was “just what we needed to hear” “inspired” “loved it.” 

Any group or individual that gets the opportunity to work with Maria is in for joyful and empowering experience!

Emily Cook

Director, Supplemental Instruction, University of North Georgia

Maria Pascucci was incredible when she came to Purdue University in February 2019.

It all started out with how well Maria communicated with me when setting up the event. Though we had some difficulties due to the weather, Maria was positive and reassuring that we were able to find another day for her to come out and it worked very smoothly.

During her presentation, she hit upon some points that a lot of girls struggle with on Purdue’s campus and I was very happy with how engaging Maria was and how she got the audience engaged in the conversation.

She was informative, gave some great ideas on how to self love yourself, and all around a very genuine speaker! It would be an honor if we were able to have Maria come speak at Purdue again!

Grace Koza

Vice President of Operations, Panhellenic Association, Purdue University

Maria Pascucci was the female keynote speaker and a workshop leader at the University of North Georgia’s Confidence UNG, the very first women’s conference uniquely designed for the women students of the Mike Cottrell College of Business.


Maria was absolutely amazing! Without a doubt, Maria was a huge “hit” with our students. She was truly inspiring, motivating, funny, and real.


Maria shared many special personal experiences and quickly connected to everyone in attendance. The women students came away so energized and excited, and with many new ideas and resources to support their personal confidence journey. Maria continually reinforced to the students that they really were ‘good enough’.


When you have a student specifically mention that as a result of Maria’s keynote she is now going to pursue her “dream job”, having previously felt she wasn’t pretty enough or good enough, you can’t help but know that this event and Maria had made a big impact.


Maria was a delight to work with in every way! She was available to support our ideas during the event planning stages and she specifically tailored her message to directly align with our Conference objectives. Maria eagerly took time to talk with students one-on-one, take pictures with students, and was happy to sign her book and share a personal message to anyone who asked, after the event. Maria added so much. I highly recommend her!”

Mary Norman

Confidence UNG Director, University of North Georgia

It gives me great pleasure to write this recommendation for Maria Pascucci. Maria recently came to College of DuPage to deliver a keynote lecture titled “Get #PerfectlyImperfect & Lead!” at our very first Women’s Leadership Summit as part of the Living Leadership Program.

The event was very well attended with our students filling every available participant space. Maria’s expertise on the topic and personal experience connected with students and made for a wonderfully engaging lecture and an interesting question and answer session. Before the event had finished the students were already discussing how they would share the information they learned with friends and family.

This is a critical program and Maria is one of the few female keynotes on the scene. We wholeheartedly recommend Maria; she is fabulous as part of Women’s History Month, but would also be great anytime during the year.

Stephanie Quirk

Coordinator of Student Life, College of DuPage

I was looking around for a speaker that we could bring on campus during Women’s History Month that could focus on women’s leadership. When I came across Campus Calm, I was very excited about Maria’s message. I thought that all of our students could relate to her message, regardless if they were perfectionists or not.


I had intended to bring her in for a Women in Leadership presentation and host a separate leadership training for the Residence Life staff, but when others on campus saw her message, they requested her for their groups. We ended up having her meet with Project Strive, our first generation college women, and created another event for the community and faculty and staff.


All of her presentations were fantastic. Maria is dynamic, hold the students’ attention (which can be difficult at times) and get a very important message across. I got great feedback from students, faculty, staff and parents. I would highly recommend bringing her on any campus, large or small.

Billie Knifong

Manager of Residence Life, Chadron State College

My daughter Ashton and I both attended Maria’s women’s leadership presentations at Chadron State College, and we’re thrilled that we did. While Maria’s message really relates to college women, it also relates to adult women who take on new adventures. My daughter and I both needed to hear that we don’t have to be perfect, we just have to be present!

Lisa & Ashton Merritt

Chadron, Nebraska

I had a countless amount of students tell me after the presentation that it felt like Maria was speaking directly to me; how does she know all that stuff??”

Megghan Connolly

Event Co-Organizer, SUNY Fredonia

We were interested in bringing Maria to our campus to keynote our Women’s Leadership Summit because we felt that the message and content would be one that would directly relate to our students and their experiences.


Maria was extremely professional and easy to work with. She responded to my emails and when it was best to discuss the details of the event and her keynote, she called me. This made the planning process much easier. In addition, Maria was available for an interview with our University Marketing and Communications department as they prepared the news release for the event. Maria asked specific questions about the make-up of our student body, in order to adapt her message.


Maria’s presentation was excellent! Students responded positively to the keynote address, as did faculty members and professional staff, such as Professional Academic Advisors that were in attendance.


It was great to see the number of students waiting to talk to Maria after the morning workshop and the keynote address. The content really resonated with the students in attendance.


In addition to the morning workshop that Maria presented, I organized a Lean In Circle Kickoff Meeting. Maria assisted me with facilitating the discussion with the participants. She offered her insight and expertise in this workshop and helped to make it a successful meeting!


Prior to the Keynote address, students in Introduction to Women’s Studies presented poster presentations. Maria interacted with the students regarding their research projects and was engaged in the event and with the attendees. The Women’s Leadership Summit was a success, thanks to Maria! I would recommend her as a female keynote speaker for other colleges and universities.”

Elizabeth Tolman

Professor, Communication Studies and Theatre, South Dakota State University

I was so stressed out I was planning on dropping out of college. After hearing Maria’s powerful presentation and story, I’ve decided to stay in school and I’m excited to get involved in the organizations I’m most passionate about!

Student attendee

2nd Annual Women's Empowerment Conference, University of California, Merced

I was dreading going to a Women’s Leadership Summit, but Maria’s presentation opened my mind in ways I never could have imagined! I was blown away by what I learned and I’m so glad I attended.

Forrest K.

Male college student who attended the Women's Leadership Summit, South Dakota State University

We hosted Maria Pascucci to be our female keynote speaker as part of our UNITED conference. Her presentation was informative and inspiring, and many students have approached me to let me know how much they appreciated Maria’s perspective.


Maria was simply fantastic, and I wish her all the best as she continues to help audiences achieve their goals while remaining grounded and calm!

Amy Hamilton

Associate Professor of English, Northern Michigan University

Maria Pascucci’s keynote presentation really hits at the essence of leadership, which is self-confidence and self-love, what our student leaders need the most to be successful.

Amy Wilson

Associate Director for WE Lead, Women Empowered to Lead program, SUNY at Buffalo

The thing about Maria’s talk that stuck with me the most was how much I could relate to it. It was almost like I knew what she was going to say before she even said it. Talk about striking a personal chord!

Like many college students, I often set goals for myself that are simply unattainable. My pursuit of these unrealistic goals places a tremendous amount of stress on me, which prevents me from being the best-version-of-myself and enjoying life to the fullest extent possible.

Maria’s talk was particularly empowering for me because it reminded me that personal growth, and NOT personal perfection, is the key to success and happiness.

Because of Maria’s advice, I now feel much more confident that I can say “NO!” to setting unreachable standards for myself and taking more responsibilities than I can handle. By applying these principles, I feel that I will be much more able to relax, enjoy the simple pleasures that life has to offer, and truly make my college years what they are meant to be – some of the best years (if not the best years) of a young person’s life.

I really wish I had heard Maria speak when I was a freshman in college; I guarantee that my undergraduate experience would have been much more fun, much less stressful, and much more fulfilling.

Brian Zylinski

M.A. Student, Department of Biological Sciences, University at Buffalo

I have spent a lot of time worrying about pleasing others. Maria really helped show me that success can be achieved by taking care of myself first.


Junior, University at Buffalo

I’ve been to a ton of leadership conferences that taught me how to get good grades, find a good job and make money, but Maria’s presentation was the first time someone taught me how to be happy.

Student attendee

2013 Western New York Student Leadership Conference

For young women who want to be successful and realize their potential in the 21st century, learning how to take care of themselves is a critical part of their college education. Maria’s message is a much-needed ‘wake-up call’ for women to be intentional about developing a personal strategy for taking care of themselves – beginning in college and for the rest of their lives.

Krispin Barr

Dean of Students, Salem College

Maria’s presentations are so relevant to today’s college women student leaders and they need to hear from her! I am confident that my students walked away with a greater understanding of how to balance their crazy lives!

Rosalyn Kempf

Director, Women’s Leadership Program, Mount St. Mary’s College

It was indeed a joy to have Maria be our keynote speaker at Purdue University’s 12th Annual Women in Leadership Conference! We’re excited for her to keep spreading her message around the country. It is so important!

Carol Ben-Davies

Assistant Dean of Students, Purdue University

I have no doubt that Maria is making a difference in the lives of the students she speaks to across the country. She has a voice that I believe they are hearing.

Heather Servaty-Seib

Associate Professor, Counseling & Development, Purdue University

The media does not help women’s self-esteem and college sometimes places too much emphasis on being perfect. Maria gave us another perspective that was empowering. We must learn when enough is enough!


Attendee of 12th Annual Women in Leadership Conference, Purdue University

I feel more relieved and stress free after attending Maria’s presentation, and wish she taught a Stress Management class at my school!

Brigid Randisi

Sophomore, Canisius College

It was absolutely amazing to have Maria with us at the Women in Leadership Conference at Purdue. Her speech was truly inspiring and essential for all the students.

Palak Manocha

Attendee of 12th Annual Women in Leadership Conference, Purdue University

Maria’s use of personal anecdotes made her more humanly connected to the audience and more qualified to offer us advice.

Meghan Tertocha

Coordinator of Celebrate Every Body Week, University of Virginia

Maria Pascucci is a great role model who related very well with our audience while leading her presentation at our student empowerment fair.

Trish Higgins Glose

Professor, Social Science, Erie Community College South Campus

Testimonials from National Student Leadership & Women’s Leadership Conferences

The mission of Campus Calm is exponentially important because it creates a network of like-minded individuals who can realize they are not alone. During every step of my life I have felt overwhelming and paralyzing pressure to succeed, achieve, grow, meet standards, and live up to the expectations of my dreams. 

I realize, after finding the Campus Calm network and attending one of Maria’s talks, that I am not alone, and I do not have to be ashamed for feeling the way I do. I can admit that I am scared, that I am over-my-head, that I feel I am never good enough, and all of these truths are okay to speak about.

Campus Calm has helped me reflect on the person I am, and has allowed me to begin the realization that I do not have to do it all, be it all, have it all. I can forge my own path, mindful of my choices, but with an attitude of acceptance about my failures as well.

I thank Maria endlessly, and her mission, for helping me hold a mirror up to myself, and for serving as the catalyst to a more productive and passionate outlook.

Katelyn Cohen

Student attendee, 2012 National Conference for College Women Student Leaders

I will not forget Maria’s story and the amazing workshop she led at NCCWSL this year to remind me that there is no need to be obsessed with perfection when people are inspired by authenticity. I am a rising senior and having Maria’s workshop before my senior year was the best timing. I will surely need to pace myself more, be calm and stay true to my goals while taking care of myself.

“Get #PerfectlyImperfect & Lead!” was by far my most memorable workshop at NCCWSL and I am so glad I chose it.


Student attendee, 2011 National Conference for College Women Student Leaders

Maria Pascucci has energized and electrified National Conference for College Women Student Leaders attendees for the past three years in her packed-to-capacity workshops.

Cordy Galligan

Former director of marketing and business development, AAUW

We thank Maria for presenting at our New York State summer women’s leadership conference. As college graduates, we came away with ideas we can carry to the next generation along with methods we can use to remind ourselves to de-stress. Her words impacted all in attendance!

Eileen Hartmann

New York President, AAUW

Maria led a presentation at the National Conference for College Women Student Leaders in 2010. Student attendees were asked to fill out an anonymous survey rating the program­–testimonials below are courtesy of the NCCWSL staff:

Maria was fantastic. This topic is of the UTMOST importance for women, as we tend to take on all the leadership roles and the extra stress without managing ourselves. You MUST bring her back next year!!!!

Student attendee, 2010 National Conference for College Women Student Leaders

I have never experienced such a cleansing of guilt or shame before in my life. I commend NCCWSL for having found a powerful and amazing presenter. I felt that not only was Maria’s presentation well prepared and educational but it has changed my life in a positive way.

–Student attendee, 2010 National Conference for College Women Student Leaders


Maria was fabulous and as a parent, I was thrilled to see that there is someone out there concerned with the issue of college student suicide and self-loathing. I love the fact that she is improving the world around her and am grateful for the information she shared. Loved her!

–Attendee, 2010 National Conference for College Women Student Leaders


Maria opened my eyes in ways I never thought I could.

–Student attendee, 2010 NCCWSL


Though Maria’s presentation was formal, it felt like she was one of us.

–Student attendee, 2010 NCCWSL


Maria’s presentation really made me stop and rethink how I looked at not only myself as a woman, but at other females.

–Student attendee, 2010 NCCWSL


I really enjoyed Maria’s presentation and plan to bring her to our campus.

–Student attendee, 2010 NCCWSL

I attended both of Maria’s sessions at The National Conference on Student Leadership. She is a phenomenal woman and inspiration!

Lyndsey Pompey

Attendee , National Conference on Student Leadership

Maria was a huge success at the NYS/AAUW Leadership conference at Cazenovia College from remarks I’ve heard from members from around the state.

Lillis McLean

Diversity Director , New York/AAUW

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