Our 2018-19 Women’s Center Student Staff

Another school year, and another group of fantastic, creative, passionate UMBC students lending their talents, strengths, and energy to the Women’s Center! Please take a minute or two to read through some short bios below, and hopefully, you’ll be able to meet and make friends with each one of these lovely folks working with us over the school year.


Alexia Petasis (she/her), Interdisciplinary Studies intern

Hey! My name is Alexia Petasis and I am a senior at UMBC. I’m pursuing a degree in Interdisciplinary Studies with a minor in Dance.

In my free time I like to go on hikes, watch French movies, or choreograph. I’m looking forward to an exciting year at The Women’s Center!

Briscoe Turner (she/her)


Hello Everyone! My name is Briscoe Turner, and I am a sophomore here at UMBC. I am majoring in Psychology and minoring in Writing. I am passionate about promoting social justice and hope to use Community Psychology to address the needs of underrepresented populations in the future. I am also a Sondheim Scholar and a member of the Black Lives Matter club, so service and impacting social change through policy and other means of political action are also very important to me.

This is my first semester working at the Women’s Center, and I’m excited to build community and have good discussions. I love that the Women’s center allows me to explore my identity through an intersectional lens, and I looking forward to exploring it further this year!

Dua Raja (she/her)


Hi! My name is Dua Raja. I was born in Pakistan, and moved to the US at a young age. Now a transfer student from CCBC at UMBC, I am on track to achieve my Bachelor’s in Business Technology Administration (BTA), all while working at the Women’s Center surrounded by wonderful people. I plan to use my degree to become an entrepreneur looking to start her own business and work on a technical management program.

I love to hike, dance and travel. Most importantly, I love dogs. Especially German Shepherds.

This is my first year as a Women’s Center staff member. I look forward to meeting new people.

My personal mantra: Inhale confidence, exhale doubt.

My favorite quote: The flower that blooms in adversity is the most rare and beautiful of all.

Hannah Wilcove (she/her), Honors College & Gender + Women’s Studies intern


Hi! My name is Hannah Wilcove and I’m a senior with a major in Gender & Women’s Studies and a double minor in Sociology and Statistics. I’m super excited to be returning to the Women’s Center this year. While I love studying any and all issues pertaining to feminism and social justice, I’m most passionate about reproductive justice, representation, and increasing political participation.

When I’m not at the Women’s Center, you can probably find me doing work for various student theater groups on campus, be it in rehearsal or as an executive board member of AF Theatre Company. If that’s not the case, then I’m probably in my bed watching Parks and Recreation and wondering how I can become Leslie Knope.

Harini Narayan (she/her)

My name is Harini Narayan and I’m a sophomore here at UMBC.It’s my second semester working at the Women’s Center and I couldn’t be happier to return! This year, I’ll be co-facilitating our discussion group for LGBTQ+ women, Between Women. When I’m not at the Women’s Center, you can find me running around campus because I love staying busy! I’m an MLLI major and am very passionate about learning new languages, which I hope to continue doing professionally.

I’m looking forward to seeing both new and familiar faces around the Women’s Center this year!

Marie Pessagno (she/her), Returning Women Students leader


Hi everyone!  My name is Marie and I am a recent graduate from UMBC!  I am super fortunate to be returning to work (super part-time) at the Women’s Center with the Returning Women’s Students of which I am also an extremely proud alumni! While at UMBC, I was a Social Work and Gender + Women’s Studies double major, and am now beginning my first, and last year, as an advanced standing student at the UMB School of Social Work.

I am a proud single mother of two girls, Lily and Lyla, who are my main inspiration on my journey towards furthering my education.  I am continuing to pursue and expand my knowledge of social work, particular in the field of child welfare, while completing my internship with child protective services at the Department of Human Services this upcoming year.

Morgan Mullings (she/her), Media and Communication Studies intern


Hi! My name is Morgan and I’m a senior here at UMBC pursuing a BA in Media and Communications major with minors in English and Cinematic Arts. I am a poet, photographer, and aspiring filmmaker and most of my work stems from my own identity and experiences as a woman of color. If I’m not working at the Women’s Center you can find me watching Ghost Shark (2013) with my friends. I am also a huge stationary nerd and I work at commonvision so ask me any question about a piece of paper.

If I could be any mythical creature it would be a unicorn that only speaks in quotes about intersectional feminism.

Samiksha Manjani (she/her)


Hi! My name is Samiksha Manjani and I am a senior here at UMBC. I’m excited to return for another year as a part of the Women’s Center team! I’m a double-major in Political Science  and Sociology, and am currently on the pre-law track. I hope to one day use my law degree to legally combat violence against women and children. During my time at the Women’s Center, I hope to create a diverse, empowering and safe environment for everyone.

On a side note, I love learning about people’s backgrounds, cultures, histories, and politics. I love fitness, soccer, and yoga. I’m all about self-care (i.e. art, journaling, meditation) and being positive! I love baking and cooking. I’m a crime show nut (i.e. Law & Order, Criminal Minds), and I try to keep up with the news. Feel free to stop by for a chat or to say “Hi!” to me if you see me around campus!

Shrijana Khanal (she/her)

Hi friends! My name is Shrijana and I am a sophomore at UMBC. I am an Economics major and minoring in Computer Science and International Relations. When I am not at work, I am reading a thrilling book or watching the sunset.

Ask me about zodiac signs or the latest updates in soccer!

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