Student Spotlight!

We’ve slowly been introducing you to the staff here at the WRC. But what about the students who visit our center daily?

The Women’s Resource Center seeks to provide students with the tools they need to be successful. These tools include a computer lab with Mac computers and free printing, coffee and tea every day, and resources concerning any topic you can think of. Throughout the school semester (and even during the summer) we have regular students who spend an hour or two here every day or so, working on assignments, studying, and contributing to the community that we are encouraging here at the WRC.

One student just recently presented her research project for the McNair Research Opportunity Program. Kristi Rendon frequents the center, bringing with her peer and advisors from her cohort to study and work on their research projects. Kristin is studying Community Health Education at UNM, and her research project as part of the McNair/ROP was titled “Health Impacts from US Nuclear Testing and Mining of Radioactive Materials: Pneumoconiotic Patterns Among New Mexico Uranium Miners”. The McNair/ROP is an opportunity for undergraduate students to complete research in order to be better prepared for graduate school and doctoral studies. Students are paired with faculty mentors who contribute experience and support towards the students’ research.

Kristin explains that her favorite part of being in the McNair/ROP is the close community of scholars that develops, because every student is faced with the same task of conducting research throughout the summer. Because of the nature of the program, the scholars develop strong support relationships.

A few weeks ago Kristi gave a presentation on her research, which is sampled at the end of this post. In October there will also be a conference for the McNair/ROP scholars in the UNM Student Union Building (SUB). We can’t wait to support Kristi and her cohort, and hope you might do the same!

Who & What: Marketing

This post is first person because, let’s be honest, writing about yourself in the third person is a little strange.

My name is Mallory, and I am the Marketing Program Assistant here at the WRC. That means that I am the one behind all the social media posts you guys are (hopefully) liking, sharing, and reading. I maintain our blog, update our website, and create our fliers, promotional materials, and newsletters.

When I first got here we were in the midst of launching the Impact Program, so I helped Nandi, our graduate assistant, design a logo and fliers. This was my first time ever using Adobe InDesign, and I have since fallen in love with it. I had no idea I had a creative capacity until I started working here, and am so excited to expand on that. Since then I have also redesigned our fliers and postcards (come in and check them out!), and started a seasonal newsletter to update you all on each semester.

These blog posts are designed to give you a little insight into who is working here, why it’s important, and a little bit about that person. We want to increase our visibility on campus, and I love being able to help with that via social media. It’s been getting a bad rap lately – that it isn’t really social and it’s inhibiting our social skills – but I think it’s incredibly effective and powerful. Thus my job – using our social media to connect with students and community members.

I can’t really say that I am originally from anywhere in particular, but I am most recently from Denver, Colorado, where my family currently lives. At UNM I am studying Communication and Spanish, and will graduate this December. Next fall I am planning to attend law school and pursue a career as a criminal prosecuting attorney. In other words, I want to prosecute sexual assault and violence cases on behalf of the victim. I am passionate about this rather dark subject, and want to contribute everything I can to changing the rape culture we live in and setting a new standard of justice for victims and perpetrators. During my time at UNM I have been fortunate enough to study abroad three times, to Spain, Argentina, and Cuba, and love the opportunity to adventure and explore. When I’m not at the center I’m probably at a coffee shop, and Albuquerque is in no shortage of those.

If you don’t already, make sure to follow us on our social media accounts to stay updated with the center!

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Three C’s: Cheo’s Curanderismo Class

Curanderismo15  Yesterday marked the first day of class for our Curanderismo Traditional Medicine students. For fifteen years, Dr. Eliseo “Cheo” Torres, the Vice President for Student Affairs, has been teaching a summer course titled “Traditional Medicine Without Borders: Curanderismo in the Southwest and Mexico”. The Women’s Resource Center has always been excited to help with the behind the scenes production of the class, and we’re going to share with you what is so special about the Curanderismo class and why you should consider taking it next year.

Curanderismo [koo – rahn – duh – iz- moh] is a Spanish noun that means the use of folk medicine by a curandero. In Latin America, a curandero is another word for a healer, who uses folk medicine. For the Traditional Medicine class, curanderos from Mexico, Cuba, Puerto Rico, and Peru will bring their knowledge and cultural traditions to UNM. Over 40 curanderos and 200 students will participate in this years class.

We are continually inspired by the students, curanderos, and instructor, Dr. Cheo Torres’ dedication to this class. His objectives are simple: to provide hands on experience about the value of traditional medicine and healing, by outlining the diverse roots and contributions of different cultures to traditional medicine. You can hear more about his passion for the course here!

health fair curanderismoThe two week course includes four health fairs, two of which the WRC will be volunteering for. One will be held on Tuesday, July 21 at the National Hispanic Cultural Center and the second is on Wednesday, July 22 at the university campus. These health fairs are open to the community and curanderos will be providing their services and treatments. These include massages, limpias (cleanses), or acupuncture – you don’t want to miss out on seeing the curanderos in action. Because this is the 15th anniversary for the Curanderismo class, a Quinceanera party will be held on Wednesday, July 22 in Old Town. These fun events, plus the in class ceremonies and exercises create an empowering and inspiring course for all participants.

Are you interested in participating but missed the registration for this years course? We also offer the course online for UNM credit in the fall, and two opportunities to participate in the Massive Open Online Course beginning on August 31st or on October 19th. Join us in experiencing the powerful impact of traditional medicine, and learning to appreciate and respect values and traditions from different cultures around the world, and across our own borders.  infographic curanderismo

Who & What: Nandi

Nandi (pronounced like Gandhi but with an N) joined us this spring as a Graduate Assistant. She has revamped our Impact: Mentorship and Leadership Program and has exciting plans for the year to come.

The Impact Program is a year long leadership development program designed to help first year female students advance their leadership skills under the mentorship of other female student leaders on campus. Women participate in workshops, presentations, team building activities, and projects throughout the year, ending with resume building, presentation, and networking skills.

Nandi is passionate about leadership and programming, as evident with her work with Impact. During the spring she recruited fourteen student leaders to participate in the program. This summer the current leaders have helped to increase the visibility of Impact and the WRC on campus by tabling at New Student Orientation Discover Fairs. They are also recruiting for the cohort of mentees that will start the program in the fall.

Before coming to New Mexico to complete her masters and license in mental health counseling, Nandi graduated with her bachelor’s in Psychology from the University of Minnesota. In between her undergrad and graduate education Nandi lived in Wisconsin in various professional development positions. In 2011 she spent a year teaching English in Spain and another year after that as an admissions counselor at Ashford University in Denver. Now at UNM, Nandi is an actively involved graduate student. Not only does she contribute her ideas and knowledge to programming at the WRC, she also volunteers on the boards of Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Educators Network (GLSEN) and New Mexico Association for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Issues in Counseling (NMALGBTIC).

Nandi and her paNandirtner are engaged to be married this August, but surprised us all when they were married in Santa Fe on June 26th! In her free time Nandi loves creative expression, road biking, walking her dogs, and spending time with loved ones. She is zealous about education, expanding horizons, personal and professional development, and opening the mind to broader experiences. We are so thrilled that she is bringing her passions and energy to our office!

Who & What: Sandra

SandraMeet Sandra, our most recent addition to the Women’s Resource Center! Sandra interned for us at the end of the Spring semester and joined our team as an Office Assistant at the beginning of this summer. We are so excited she is here!

Here is a little message about Sandra, and her role at the WRC:

Sandra felt this wonderful group of intelligent, fun, compassionate women were the right fit for her and knew she could be an asset to this team. She comes to us with a history working in mental and behavioral health capacities, with experience working in the compliance department at Value Options New Mexico and processing intake at Mats Detox Center for drug and alcohol detox.

In 2014 Sandra graduated from Central New Mexico Community College, earning three Associate Degrees in Integrated Studies, Liberal Arts, and Child, Youth, and Family Development. In Spring 2015 she enrolled at the University of New Mexico and is working on her Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology. Once she completes her degree, Sandra hopes to continue to be an advocate for women and children in either the U.S. or Guatemala. She recognizes the disparity in resources for women and children living in Guatemala, and would love to provide resources or counseling.

In her role at the WRC, Sandra loves being able to assist in outreach programs, events, and interacting with other students in the office. She is key to helping the WRC locate resources and gather information to provide to students and community members. On campus Sandra shows acceptance for all people and helps to raise awareness of social justice and ending violence. She advocates for women, children, men and non traditional students.

Apart from volunteering with the homeless and working with drug addictions in the community, Sandra enjoys walking to awesome tunes, the outdoors and hiking, yoga, dancing, and life with her two grown sons and two cats. Sandra’s newest love is her first grandson, born this June. She enjoys a holistic way of life and nurturing healthy attitudes and relationships with friends and coworkers.

Campaigns That Are Killing It

Sexual, domestic, emotional, or physical abuse are heavy topics. Recently, more and more conversations have surfaced about these topics. We’re living in a society that is starting to recognize that not only do these things happen, they are happening to people we love – they are happening to us. So advocates are raising awareness, making the conversation louder, and sharing stories to change our culture. They’re doing all of this through social media campaigns; by using hashtags and sharing logos or photos on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, or their website to create awareness. Check out our top campaigns that are advocating for change, and how you can advocate with them.

Believeing Banner
1. Start By Believing

This campaign came from the End Violence Against Women International Program. It asks the simple question – what will your reaction be when someone comes to you as a victim of violence? Their answer is just as simple: I will start by believing. Thousands of people across the country have taken the pledge that they too will start by believing, and share their pledge on Instagram with #StartByBelieving or on Facebook. States and universities are even becoming Start by Believing institutions, and campaigns are being launched in businesses, schools, and organizations across the nation.

2. It’s On Us itsonus

It’s On Us is a campaign directly from the White House along with universities, businesses, organizations, and sports teams to raise awareness about sexual assault, specifically on college campuses. The campaign seeks to involve everyone in the fight to end sexual assault on campus, and share the responsibility of prevention on all individuals. You can take the pledge and change your Facebook or Twitter photo to reflect the It’s On Us logo!

3. NoMore

nomoreNoMore.org is a website and social media campaign with the simple message: No More domestic violence and sexual assault. Celebrities, sports figures, and advocates across the U.S. can be spotted on social media holding their pledge for No More silence, or victim blaming, or whatever it is they seek to end in regards to domestic violence and sexual assault. California is even attempting to get a No More license plate to show their support! Pledge online, snap a quick photo, and decide what you are saying No More to.

4. Put The Nail In It nail

We just found this campaign today and were excited for the simple and easy way to raise awareness about domestic violence. #PutTheNailInIt asks women and men to paint one nail purple, the color associated with domestic violence awareness. This begins the conversation, and together we can raise more awareness about domestic violence. You can also donate on their site! This campaign is from Safe Horizon, a victim’s service agency.

Who & What Series

The intent of this blog series is to reintroduce you to the people at the Women’s Resource Center and give you a little insight into the things that happen here day to day! We hope you learn a little more about who we are, what we do, and what we can offer to YOU. 

We will start with a little background on the Women’s Resource Center…

The WRC was founded in 1972 by a group of faculty, graduate students, and community members. It’s original intent was to be an advocate for women on campus and in the community, and forty three years later the WRC maintains the same purpose. We achieve this intention by promoting the establishment and enforcement of policies and procedures which address issues of institutionalized sexism & racism, sexual harassment, and all other forms of discrimination in our society.

A full version of our mission and vision statements can be found on our website, but a more concise version is right here:

Mission – We are a center for advocacy, support, and safety. From a feminist model of empowerment, we offer programs to encourage women’s self-determination and community engagement. We promote awareness and advocate for women’s rights and equity and hope to facilitate understanding and respect in our community in order to achieve social justice. The center provides tools and resources to encourage academic, personal, and professional success.

Vision – To educate people on issues affecting women, plan special events to empower women in our community, and provide a safe space for individuals and peer education, mentoring, and scholarship opportunities.

We talk a lot about programs and education – but it is not as boring as it sounds! It’s a great way for you to get involved with the WRC. We run an Impact: Women’s Leadership and Mentorship Program for female and female identified students to develop leadership skills and build their resumes! We also have our Gendered Violence Protection Program, which educated students about sexual violence prevention through a Peer Educator Model. This summer our presentation will be presented by New Student Orientation leaders to over 4,000 incoming first year students. For breastfeeding students, faculty, or partners/spouses of students and faculty, we run a Breastfeed Support Program which facilitates 19 lactation stations on campus.

There is a lot going on here! We also offer free printing from our computer lab, and coffee, tea, and chocolate every day – come on in!