The beginning of a new semester, and a new year, is always an exciting time full of possibilities and new plans. We’ve been very busy expanding programs, building new programs, and creating an exciting selection of activities for you. It is also a great time to reflect on successes and lessons learned, and to say goodbye to people who continue their journeys elsewhere and welcome new people into our community.
UNM took a huge step toward helping students dealing with sexual violence this past year. We were proud to cofound, with UNMPD, the new Sexual Assault Response Team (SART). UNMPD Chief Kathy Guimond and I serve as co-chairs of the steering committee. The effort has the full support of President Frank and is off to a great start. Please keep in mind that the number of reports may go up and that is actually a good thing; it means we are doing a good job of reaching out to students who need us. After meeting for the first time last May, we have coordinated the team, services, and programs; created a website (sart.unm.edu) and distributed 5000 brochures.
Our Gendered Violence Prevention Program (GVPP) graduate assistant, Angela Catena, has also coordinated and facilitated several prevention trainings and presentations. She was also selected for the inaugural Campus Leaders Fellowship with Futures Without Violence “to spur creative, student-led action to change university policy, enhance curriculum, raise awareness and shift campus culture around dating violence, domestic violence and the connection to sexual assault, and reproductive coercion.” As one of just 12 graduate students across the country, collaborating with this exceptional team of people strengthens Angela’s work with GVPP.
Our own Sarah Crawford, mentoring and leadership program assistant, was selected as one of 10 students in the country to hold a position on the American Association of University (AAUW) Women National Student Advisory Council. This national leadership position gives Sarah the opportunity to serve as AAUW ambassador, advise AAUW staff on the needs of college students, and lead gender equality projects on campus. The UNM WRC was also selected as one of 50 schools to host Elect Her: Campus Women Win, an AAUW program that teaches women how to run successful campaigns for student leadership positions in clubs, student government, and plants the seeds for future public service. We will also host the $tart $mart Salary Negotiation Workshop, an AAUW/WAGE Project effort to help young women negotiate the best salary and benefits package they can at the start of their careers.
The Impact Project: A Women’s Mentoring Program is taking applications until February 7. Mentees should be in their first year of school and mentors need to be sophomores on up to graduate school. The Lobo Women’s Council had its inaugural meeting last October with almost 40 interested women and male allies attending. Look for more leadership development opportunities for students, staff, faculty, and the community coming up! We are going to Lean In: LOBO STYLE! and take control of our financial destiny with a series of 5 presentations on women and money.
Susan Mbatudde-Gustafson, our program assistant for social media/marketing/website, is busy getting our newsletter back in production; it will be available online and via email. She is also handling all of our social media, marketing, writing for our wordpress blog and trying to get all of us to as well. If you’d like to contribute a blog post, let us know. Be sure to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.
Help us congratulate Emily Hernandez, WRC office assistant, in completing her phlebotomy certificate. She is now working with Tri-Core and loving running all over UNMH in addition to working here. Our own Nate Armstrong, WRC office assistant, won his first two matches with first-round knockouts—way to go Nate!
We would like to thank Cathy Ahiyite, our Breast-feeding Support Program (BFSP) assistant, for working so hard to expand the program. We now have a new location in UNMH and one in Carrie Tingley Hospital; that brings the total to 12 rooms around campus for lactating moms to use! Cathy is entering her last semester of student teaching before she graduates in May—we wish her all the best! Medical student, Kate Rooney, will take on the leadership role and will be working to expand the program even more. The BFSP will now be housed under our new Women’s Health Education Program and will offer a wide range of activities and presentations about all aspects of our health.
The WRC also welcomes Addie Gillespie, Devon Rosenkoetter, and LaToya Lozoya to our team as office assistants and our interns Alice, Garrett, Thomarita and Fran. We are happy to have their smiling faces and great skills in our center. We also welcome our counseling interns: Arianna, Deanna, Moriah and Sarah! Including Angela, that’s 5 counselors to offer FREE counseling at the WRC this semester! They are planning some great group experiences too, so check out the website for info.
We are taking applications for the Sabrina Single Mothers Scholarship until January 31—tell all of your single mom friends! We are also planning new programming for WOMEN in STEM and expanding our programs for men and male allies. Does it sound like we’ve been busy? Yes, we have been. Last year, we had the privilege of making more than 61,000 contacts with our community. Let’s keep it growing—come by to get involved!
I’d like to officially welcome our Administrative Assistant III, Michele Navarrette. She started last spring and the phrase ‘hitting the ground running’ has never been so apropos. Michele has worked hard to learn a tremendous amount in a short time and is keeping our center on track and running smoothly. In addition to her work here, Michele quickly stepped into a leadership role by getting elected to Staff Council and she was accepted into the Management Academy! We are lucky to have her and can’t wait to see what’s next!
Michele’s arrival came with the retirement of our dear Carol Dolan, former Administrative Assistant III. Carol worked with the WRC for 23 years and over that time saw a lot of change on campus. We laughed, we cried, we supported a lot of students together and I’m grateful that I got to work with her! We all appreciate her dedication and service and we miss her. We wish her the happiest retirement possible!
There are so many ways to get involved with and to support the WRC. We gladly accept interns and field experience students. You can support us financially by making a donation to the WRC in general or to our Sabrina Single Mothers Scholarship—just call to find out how.
If you haven’t stopped by yet to see the new layout, furniture, computers, lockers, etc., come by soon to get a tour. Don’t forget, we always have coffee and tea, and condoms, candy, feminine hygiene products, and…a stash of chocolate. Looking forward to seeing you soon. Have a great semester!
~Your finally permanent WRC Director, Summer Little