A conversation with the WRAC program coordinator
Monday, October 8, 2012

So what do you do here?

I am a program coordinator at the Women’s Resource and Action Center. I coordinate the Iowa NEW Leadership program, which is a weeklong, residential institute that prepares college women for public leadership. I am also a Ph.D. candidate in Educational Policy and Leadership Studies.

What do you enjoy most about working in a higher education setting?

I truly believe that I have the best job on campus—I get paid to help change the world! In my job I get to do a variety of things, including facilitating conversations about diversity, helping to organize a music festival, advising students orgs, and helping young women realize their leadership potential. I love working with students, especially in those moments when you can see something “click” for a student—the “aha moment,” if you will—where the message you are trying to give resonates with them.

Take us through your most memorable day at the university.

Earlier this year I spearheaded the Million Hoodie March in Iowa City. It was incredibly powerful to see the Iowa City and University of Iowa communities come together to take a stand for such an important issue. In the days surrounding the march, I was reminded of how amazing the people here in Iowa City and at the university truly are.

What’s the biggest risk you’ve ever taken—and did it pay off?

Deciding to adopt my son. The adoption process was long, unpredictable, and at times really painful, but choosing to become a mom through adoption was, without a doubt, the best decision I have ever made.

If you could spend a day with anyone, from any era, who would it be and why?

Jane Addams, one of the founders of the Hull House in Chicago. She was a pioneer in social change movements and worked tirelessly to help others. Plus, I am writing my dissertation about the Hull House so I think she could give me some valuable insight!

If you could have a song written about you, who would perform it, and what would it be called?

The song would be performed by the Indigo Girls because they are my favorite musical group and would be called “In Need of a Nap” because, as a mom, graduate student, and full-time program coordinator, that is how I feel most days!

If you could get rid of one invention in the world, what would you choose? Why?

Smart phones, because I think we spend too much time in virtual spaces, texting, Facebooking, etc., and not enough time connecting in meaningful ways with the people in our lives. By being so wrapped up in technology, we prevent ourselves from being truly present with the people around us.

Name five of your favorite things.

My son; social justice work; swimming; traveling to warm, tropical places; and reading for fun, which I rarely get to do as a graduate student!