Major at OHIO: Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies
Year of Graduation: 2017
Hometown: Athens, Ohio
Involvement on Campus: Student Senate’s International Affairs Commissioner
How did you choose Ohio University?
I’ve lived in Athens since I was 14 years old. My parents are both alumni and my stepdad was a professor in the English department. OHIO was my first choice.
How did you choose your major? What excited you most about it?
I was undecided and interested in the bachelor of specialized studies where I would have the opportunity to combine my interests. While seeking advice from faculty members, my amazing advisor, Char Rae, introduced me to Dr. Loran Marsan. Dr. Marsan essentially told me my BSS major already existed – it was women’s, gender, and sexuality studies. I read more about the program and found that it aligned with my aspirations post graduation. The feminist movement and history was exciting especially when I was learning about black, indigenous, and people of color feminists. It was exciting and informing to learn about BIPOC women’s history, political thought and practice. It informed my identity and it also informs my work – even today.
Have you taken on any leadership roles or gone through leadership training at OHIO?
I received the 21st Century Leadership Certificate and the Professional Leadership Certificate through the CLDC. I was also involved in Student Senate for a year as the international affairs commissioner.
Have you ever used career or leadership training services on campus?
I took a few classes that were taught by staff from the CLDC. I received the 21st Century Leadership Certificate and the Professional Leadership Certificate through the CLDC. I had career coaching the summer before my senior year when I was looking for jobs that matched my area of study. I also went to a lot of career fairs and used the resources at CLDC to create a good resume and cover letter.
Tell us about one of your most significant career development experiences at OHIO.
The most significant career development experience at OHIO happened when I was introduced to the WGSS major. After I formally switched, everything clicked. I loved my classes and my professors. The readings and assignments were affirming. It aligned with what I was hoping to do after graduation.
What advice would you give to your fellow Bobcats?
Advocating for yourself is self-care. Don’t be afraid to ask for help when you need it and don’t wait until it’s too late. Be informed about your resources on campus and find mentors that will support and advocate on your behalf.
What is your favorite thing about being a Bobcat?
I loved the Bobcat community. I appreciated that there are a lot of student organizations, clubs, etc. There is a good variety to choose from and spaces where you can meet amazing fellow Bobcats that share similar interests. I love the campus. It’s beautiful. (I miss my favorite restaurant Casa Nueva and the Athens weather. Minnesota weather and snow can be brutal).
What does your life look like post-grad?
During my senior year, I applied to be an AmeriCorps VISTA at Nexus Community Partners in St. Paul, MN. With the help and support of Jodi Pavol from the CLDC, Dr. Marsan, and Char Rae, I landed an amazing opportunity at Nexus. Nexus is an intermediary that works with community, non-profit, philanthropy and government. My role is the community wealth building coordinator. A lot of my work has been centered on tools that build wealth in BIPOC communities through cooperative economics. We highlight the deep co-op history which was led by black and brown folks. In those spaces, we explore local and national economic history, which is often forgotten or white-washed. My work has also involved creating curricula and learning tools for the Culturally-Based Cooperative Development Technical Assistance Cohort, the Cooperative Learning Series, and the Community Wealth Building VISTA sub-cohort.
Outside of Nexus, I’ve been interested in connecting with community. There is amazing work happening in the organizing spheres of the Twin Cities and I wanted to become familiar with the work and take part in it. I did that by participating in the Headwaters Foundations for Justice’s Giving Project cohort. Through the Giving Project, we fundraised for the Democracy in Action fund which provided $10,000 general operating grants to thirteen community-led grassroot organizations in the Twin Cities and Greater Minnesota.
Currently, I am participating in a 10-month community organizing training that cultivates and channels the power of citizens in the Twin Cities and promotes effective models of community organizing and leadership through an organization called Hope Community Inc. in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
Interview conducted by Hannah Schuller, CLDC Content Marketing Intern