Women of Welch

In partnership with University Housing & Women’s and Gender Studies, the Women’s Center facilitates a “living and learning” community residence hall for undergraduate female students. Last year, W.O.W. was nominated for the 2014 Chancellor’s Creating Community Awards. We are exceptionally proud that W.O.W. won the NC State University Housing “Village of the Year” award in 2014. We believe that this prestigious designation reflects the work that our campus partners and the Women’s Center have done to enhance women’s leadership outside the classroom through support, empowerment, leadership development, and education. There were 15 “W.O.W. Women” in the 2013-2014 academic year including 12 first year students (freshman and transfers), 2 mentors (W.O.W. residents last year), and 1 additional returning student.

W.O.W increased its activities this year. Women’s Center Director Dr. Ashley Simons-Rudolph led the W.O.W. women in the high ropes course and other team building activities in Schenck Forest in August. Dr. Simons-Rudolph also served as faculty adviser on the Fall Break gender-equity trip to Washington DC featuring:
• Occoquan workhouse-a women’s suffrage historical site
• The Laramie Project-play about the life of Matthew Shepard and the community response to his murder
• Meetings with Running Start (grassroots funding for women in politics), American Association of University Women, and with Bridget Matty (National Counterterrorism Center)

W.O.W. residents also travelled to New York City during Spring Break. http://housing.NC State.edu/wow-village-visits-nyc

Highlights included:
• Dinner with Rachel Klooz, a Google Senior Account Manager; Katie Primm, a news specials producer and Deputy Director of the Elections unit; and Jodie Jordan, a CNN brand manager. Dinner conversation included living in the city, street harassment, how to be an empowered woman when you’re the only woman in your department, salary negotiations, the job search, & internship tips and opportunities
• Meeting with Debjani Roy, Deputy Director of Hollaback!, a movement to end street harassment.
• Meeting with Raquel Lagunas, senior advisor, Gender Team, UN Development Programs, to learn about the UNDP Gender Equality Seal Initiative
• Visit to Museum of Modern Art (MoMA)
• Backstage during a live taping of the Melissa Harris-Perry show

W.O.W. residents engaged in academic theory-to-practice learning by taking Introduction to Women’s and Gender Studies (WGS 200) together, through four crucial conversations (Intersectionality, Fat Positivity, Human Sex Trafficking, Classism), and through participation in four faculty dinners featuring Dr. Felysha Jenkings (Interdisciplinary Studies), Dr. Monica Leach (Social Work), Dr. Tracy Appling (Public and International Affairs), Meredith Davis (Design), Dr. Chelsea Juarez (Sociology and Anthropology).

Through the Women’s Center, W.O.W. Village formed a partnership with the Wake Young Women’s Leadership Academy. During our visits, the W.O.W. women had lunch with a group of 9th/10th grade students and facilitated conversations about college life and women’s empowerment. The women then participated in the Girls Leadership Class at WYWLA. In April, the women presented during the Girls Leadership Class about the myth of the “perfect girl”.

W.O.W. residents were very involved with Women’s Center and volunteered at the annual Chocolate Festival and Take Back the Night events. W.O.W. residents are energized about the W.O.W. experience and taped a promotional video that is promoted to all incoming NC State Students considering living on campus. http://youtu.be/wHlvcMDFSvw

Energy for W.O.W. continues to grow. Come join us! http://housing.ncsu.edu/women-of-welch-village