December Grad Staci Batchelor Reflects on the Women’s Center

Staci Batchelor

Staci Batchelor (they/she) has worked in NC State’s Women’s Center as a student programming intern since August 2020. As they get ready to graduate this month, they took a few moments to reflect on their experiences in the center.

Graduating with a bachelor’s of science in horticulture as well as one in sociology, Batchelor initially learned about the Women’s Center through friends, and also from noticing some of the center’s events happening in Talley Student Union.

As a programming intern, Batchelor served in several capacities in the center, including many revolving around communications — heading up the center’s social media and newsletter, creating content and working on communications for some of the center’s big annual events, such as Love Your Body Day and the Gender and Equity Research Symposium.

“The first thing that comes to mind,” Batchelor reflected about the center, “is that there is such a positive work environment here. It’s really refreshing and even kind of moving how supportive and how communicative everyone is with each other. You can tell there is genuine support for everyone, and despite everything happening in the world, there are still places like this, where you can work on what you really care about.”

“The second thing is,” they continued, “I was constantly learning something, even from the people I was training or collaborating with; there was always something new to learn, regardless of the topic or perspective. I would not be the person I am without having worked here. It’s one of the most positive things I’ve done in college.” Batchelor says the support was overwhelming, and something they really needed.

It’s one of the most enriching and amazing experiences I’ve ever had.

One experience Batchelor is particularly proud of is helping to set up a collaboration with the GLBT Center for this year’s Love Your Body Day. Together, they created a theme focusing on queer bodies and their different forms of media and representation (or lack thereof). A major highlight was helping to bring nonbinary actor/model/artist Lachlan Watson to campus as a speaker at the event. Batchelor served as a liaison between Watson and the committee, an experience they call “surreal and incredible.”

Batchelor’s most cherished memories are working with Assistant Director Bri Elum and fellow student intern Alexus Smith and training fellow student Arian Farhat. Interim Director Janine Kossen and Administrative Support Specialist Antoinette Norton also received warm mentions.

Post-graduation, Batchelor plans to work in the Raleigh area before going on to pursue a master’s degree in higher education to eventually work in either a campus or community resource center.

Reflecting on the importance of the Women’s Center, Batchelor points out that while gender equity is a topic that arises in many places on campus, there may not be the level of support and care that there is in the center, where the voices of those who aren’t privileged have space, for example, survivors of interpersonal violence, whom the center assists and uplifts. They also note that in addition to education about gender equity, the center provides an intersectional space together with the other centers — the African American Cultural Center, Multicultural Student Affairs and the GLBT Center. 

Batchelor recommends that interested students consider working in one of the centers. “It’s one of the most enriching and amazing experiences I’ve ever had.”