For Women’s HERstory Month, we asked staff members in the Office for Institutional Equity and Diversity about women-identified individuals who inspire them. We challenged those asked to think beyond their mothers and their partners. Here are some of their responses.
Elizabeth Snively, senior communications technologist, responds with a name many of us recognize: Michelle Obama.
“I just finished Becoming, Michelle Obama’s excellent memoir. I am in awe of how well she leveraged her role to accomplish so much in the areas of nutrition, health and fitness; supporting military families; and education, all while leaving an impeccable legacy as our first Black First Lady.”
David Elrod, assistant equal opportunity officer, responds with a name many of us might not recognize at first.
“I look up to Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhiu, also known as Mother Teresa. One aspect that I admire was part of her ministry, “The Missionaries of Charity,” whose task was “to love and care for those persons nobody was prepared to look after.” As a child who was placed in foster care at the age of 15, this resonated with me.”
Andy DeRoin, program coordinator for the GLBT Center, responds with the name of a colleague, Angela Gay, assistant director of the Women’s Center.
“Angela’s message is to keep the emotional parts of a person in mind, all their emotional and spiritual needs that make them feel connected to a space. And that spirituality can mean connecting in a rejuvenating and revitalizing way.”
Nicole Robelo, program assistant for Diversity Engagement, Training and Education, responded with the name of musician and composer Lady Gaga.
“Lady Gaga got knocked down a lot and told she wasn’t pretty and not good enough. But she did not let that bring her down. With her talent and by speaking her mind, she became not only successful but a spokesperson for mental health awareness and the GLBT community.”
Leah Block is a senior majoring in interpersonal, organizational and rhetorical communication, with a minor in sociology, and a communications intern in the Office for Institutional Equity and Diversity.